When is a layoff not a layoff? When it is a constructive dismissal, according to an Ontario judge. McLean v. The Rawyal Limited Partnership reaffirms the principle that unless incorporated as an express or implied term of the employment contract, a layoff may be treated as constructive dismissal–meaning the employee can sue for pay in lieu of reasonable notice.
As we have reported before (January 6, 2009, December 2, 2008, and August 26, 2008), Wal-Mart has repeatedly been dealt blows by Canadian courts and other decision-makers. Most recently, an arbitrator in Quebec has weighed in â€“ and it’s more bad news for Wal-Mart in Canada.
Wal-Mart’s store in Jonquiere, Quebec, was certified by the UFCW, Local 503 in 2004. In February 2005, after unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a collective agreement, Wal-Mart publicly indicated its intention to close the store for business reasons â€“ it couldn’t afford to meet the union’s demands. It then gave employees notice of termination effective May 2005, the date on which the store would cease operations.