Tag: Punitive Damages

Extraordinary damages not automatic in ‘cause’ cases

by Keri Bennett In Canada, courts can award two extraordinary forms of damages in a wrongful dismissal action: aggravated damages or punitive damages. In a wrongful dismissal action, employees who are terminated for cause often claim that they should be awarded aggravated and/or punitive damages in addition to reasonable notice damages. In a recent decision […]

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Employee fired for expressing political views at work wins reinstatement and damages

by Louise Béchamp With a Canadian federal election recently behind us, it is safe to say that politics has been a hot topic of discussion in some Canadian workplaces. A Quebec employer was recently reminded, at significant cost, that employees are entitled to express their political opinions at work and may not be fired for […]

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Punitive damages awards increasing in Canadian employment cases

By David McDonald In wrongful dismissal cases in Canada, punitive damages awards are available only in exceptional situations. That’s what the Supreme Court of Canada said in 2008 in Honda Canada v. Keays. The employer’s conduct in the course of termination must be proven to be harsh, vindictive, reprehensible, and malicious. Despite this high threshold, […]

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No More Compensatory and Punitive Damages for WFEA Violations

By Saul C. Glazer The Wisconsin Assembly passed a bill on February 21 eliminating compensatory and punitive damages awards for violations of Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Act (WFEA). This bill was passed by the Wisconsin Senate in November 2011 and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Scott Walker shortly. This law reverses a […]

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Court of Appeal Agrees with $25,000 Award for Loss of Apprenticeship

By Derek Knoechel As we reported in an article last year, courts across the country are generally following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Keays v. Honda Canada: Punitive damages should be awarded only in exceptional cases, and moral damages should be limited to actual losses resulting from the employer’s conduct. That has left […]

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Keays vs. Honda One Year Later: Have Canadian Courts Changed Their Approach to Punitive and Bad Faith Damages?

It has been just over a year since the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) issued its decision in Keays v. Honda Canada Inc. (Read our analysis of the court’s decision in that case). That decision mandated a change in Canadian courts’ approach to awarding damages in employment cases. Damages for bad faith conduct by the […]

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Compensatory, Punitive Damages for Wisconsion Discrimination Claims

Governor Doyle recently signed Senate Bill 20, which drastically changes discrimination claims under Wisconsin law. Previously, discrimination claims based under Wisconsin law were processed by the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development (ERD). The only remedies available were back pay, attorneys’ fees, and reinstatement (or front pay in some instances). Under the […]

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English-Only Rules: Employer Ordered To Pay Over $700,000 To Telephone Operators Hired—And Fired—For Speaking Spanish; Creating Language Policies That Work

A record damage award levied against a telephone company that tried to prevent operators from speaking Spanish to each other in the workplace underscores the risks of enforcing English-only policies. Faced with this increasingly common type of bias case, a federal court has concluded that the language restriction amounted to illegal discrimination based on national […]

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