The BC Supreme Court recently awarded a former vice-president of marketing over $100,000 in damages for constructive dismissal, despite the employer’s offer to maintain her salary in a new position for the duration of the appropriate notice period.
Less than six months after joining the company, the plaintiff’s position was eliminated. She was given two options: continued employment in an alternative position or immediate termination. After a brief period of negotiations, the plaintiff rejected the employer’s offer and sued for constructive dismissal.
Although the employer had offered to maintain the plaintiff’s salary in the new position for the duration of the notice period, the Court held that the plaintiff’s rejection of this offer was reasonable. The plaintiff was legitimately concerned about the effect on her professional reputation of accepting the new position as it was of lesser responsibility, had a smaller budget to manage, fewer subordinates to supervise and was not a part of the senior management team.
The Court found that the plaintiff was constructively dismissed and assessed the reasonable notice period as 10 months.