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Digest of the Week — Unilateral Change to Employment Contract Stands

Halischuk v. Color Ad Packaging Ltd. |
2015 CarswellMan 615 |
Manitoba Court of Appeal

Labour and employment law | Employment law | Termination and dismissal | Notice | Effect of contractual terms regarding notice

Employment contract provided for 90-day probation period where employee could be dismissed by employer without cause or notice — Contract also provided for minimum termination notice as required by law — After employee began work, employer unilaterally revised clause to provide that employer would give employee 90 days' salary and benefits as pay in lieu if employee was dismissed without cause — Employer dismissed employee without cause, within probationary period — Employee brought action for damages under contract — Trial judge held revision was made in good faith, and rejected employer's argument that employee colluded with former CEO of employer to adjust contract to benefit employee — Trial judge ordered employer to pay 90 days' wages — Employer appealed — Appeal dismissed — Present case was unusual and fact-specific — Employer unilaterally amended contract that had already been entered into, to its detriment and to employee's benefit — Trial judge made no palpable and overriding errors regarding how contract was revised or her interpretation of contract.
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