Court Rejects Request for Continued Employment Until Trial

The BC Supreme Court recently refused to order the West Vancouver Police Board to continue employing its chief constable pending his wrongful dismissal trial.

In December 2006, the board informed the chief constable that his employment would terminate at the end of January 2007, only one year into a five-year contract of employment. The board relied on a contractual provision which contemplated dismissal of the chief constable on payment of six months’ salary if the chief’s performance did not meet the board’s expectations.

The chief constable responded by commencing an action against the board. He then applied for an injunction and order requiring the board to continue employing him until his action could be disposed of in a full trial.

The court dismissed the injunction application because the chief could be adequately compensated by an award of damages, in the same manner as any other wrongful dismissal action, if he was successful at trial.

This case reinforces the courts’ reluctance to force an employment relationship to continue in the absence of an explicit agreement of the employer and employee. Instead, the courts continue to take the position that the better manner of compensating a successful plaintiff is to quantify the employee’s loss in terms of monetary damages.

(Click here for link to Decision)