Indefinite layoff was a termination but offer to return was legit: Court

Employee worked through several ownership changes over 36 years
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 02/19/2014

A British Columbia company wrongfully dismissed an employee when it laid him off indefinitely, but the employee should have accepted an offer to return to his position after threatening legal action, the B.C. Supreme Court has ruled.

Clarence Hooge, 59, was a production supervisor at a lumber mill in Chilliwack, B.C., operated by Gillwood Remanufacturing. He began working at the mill in 1975 and continued without a break through three ownership changes, though he had no written employment contract. When Gillwood took ownership of the mill in 2011, Hooge continued to work in the same position he had been in under the previous ownership.

In the four years previous to Gillwood taking over, production had fallen significantly. Some supervisory personnel had been let go, but Hooge remained as one of two production supervisors.