Employer gets out of 7-year contract but must still provide reasonable notice

Employee breached fiduciary duty when he drew up own unenforceable contract, but employer didn’t have just cause to dismiss him
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 03/14/2018

An employment contract with a generous termination clause created out of the worker’s collusion and a conflict of interest is unenforceable, but the employer still has to have just cause for dismissal. Such was the case for an Ontario casino who got out of a seven-year contract with its general manager that had no early termination clause but still had to pay six-and-one-half months’ pay in lieu of notice because it didn’t follow its own progressive discipline policy.

Tyler Waddilove was the general manager of the Muncey-Delaware Nation Paradise Bingo, a bingo hall located on the Muncey-Delaware First Nations reserve in Ontario. The bingo hall is a charitable corporation and all shareholders and the board of directors are band members of the Muncey-Delaware First Nation.

Paradise Bingo was incorporated on Jan. 31, 2008, and Waddilove was hired as its operational manager. After growing up on the reserve, Waddilove had completed one year of an international business program with the intention of working at international casinos and then worked for one year at Casino Rama in Orillia, Ont.