Reinstated employee wants more

Employee wanted bonuses paid out during the period she would have been working had she not be wrongfully dismissed
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 05/02/2012

This instalment of You Make the Call involves a dispute over how much should be paid to an employee who was reinstated after a successful grievance.

Paulette Garon was an Ontario-based employee of food and condiment manufacturer Smucker Foods. On Feb. 3, 2010, Smucker terminated Garon’s employment. Garon filed a grievance for wrongful dismissal and, 13 months after her firing, an arbitrator ruled in her favour. Smucker was ordered to reinstate Garon to her old position with no loss of seniority. The arbitrator found an eight-month suspension should be substituted as discipline and Garon should be paid for the subsequent five months.

Garon returned to work on March 16, 2011, and was paid an amount equal to what her pay, minus deductions, would have been for the period from the end of her suspension to her reinstatement – totaling more than $16,000. However, Garon argued that she should also be paid a performance bonus that all employees received in late 2010 as part of a plant closure agreement with the union, as well as a gratuitous holiday bonus paid to all employees in December 2010. The total of these two bonuses would have been $1,230.70 had Garon been working for Smucker at the time.