HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 32

LEGALSOURCE At Least a Few Days After and Never at the Termination Meeting BY BENJAMIN ABERANT AND SHANA WOLCH A recent case out of British Columbia provides a timely reminder of a best practice for Alberta employers. In Saliken v Alpine Aerotech Limited Partnership, 2016 BCSC 832, a relatively short service employee was dismissed, allegedly for just cause. On the termination date the employee was told that he was fired and called to an office. He was then presented with the termination documents, which included a release, and pressured to sign that day. He signed after about 15 minutes. The Court found that while the employee "read" the termination documents, he did not understand them. Further, it was found that the employee could not have understood the consequences of the release. The Court stated: ...The atmosphere during the termination meeting was tense and awkward. The plaintiff was in shock he was being terminated...To hold the plaintiff to the termination documents in the circumstances would be unconscionable. Neither Mr. Pink nor Mr. Davis explained any of the termination documents to the plaintiff... It was a grossly unfair and improvident transaction. The plaintiff received no legal or other suitable advice. Ultimately, the circumstances and resulting stress of the termination resulted in an imbalance in bargaining power and the defendant knowingly took advantage of the plaintiff's vulnerability to its advantage...The offer contained in the termination documents was presented in a way that was directed to getting the plaintiff to accept, and in a manner set to take advantage of the plaintiff's vulnerability. This case is a good reminder of a classic lesson: never let an employee sign the release at the termination meeting. Never ever. While it can be tempting, just don't do it. An employer could be dealing with an employee who is eager to sign a very generous package. Perhaps the employee knows that he/she will find new work soon, making the package even more generous. The employee may also be sophisticated and make comments that quite obviously show that he/she understands the situation and the fact that he/she will be releasing all of his/her legal rights. Don't be tempted. Our usual advice is to give the employee between 1-2 weeks to consider the severance package and, barring exceptional circumstances, not accept the returned release for at least a few days after the termination meeting. While the above case had some exceptional facts, it shows that accepting it earlier creates a risk that it could be challenged on the basis of unconscionability. This scenario may leave you in a costly legal fight that could have been avoided with a little more patience and good practice. O Ben Aberant and Shana Wolch are both Partners at McCarthy Tétrault in the Labour & Employment Group. Examining Conduct of an Elected Official In two recent and novel decisions from the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, the Court examined, in detail, the conduct of an elected municipal official. How exactly can an elected official be properly and legally reined in? 32 | www.hria.ca Most employment law involves the conduct of employees and employers but the cases discussed in this article give us insight into what occurs in the context of the conduct of an elected official. In particular, the Court examined a "covenant" regarding "standards of conduct" in the municipal context. Briefly, Mr. Gendre is the mayor of Fort MacLeod. Disagreements erupted with the Town Council to the point where they http://www.hria.ca

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016

Leadership Matters
Tech Talk
The Evolution of Learning & Development: Trends Today
The Value of Leadership Development and What Companies Are Spending on Training and Development
Knowledge Transfer Strategies
Instructional Design Focused on Performance Support
Joint Training: Learning on Both Sides of the Fence
Team Training: A Brief Look at the Options
Training Needs: Ask the Right Experts
What’s Your End Game?
Legal Source
Policy Corner
Peek-a-Boo, Pikachu: Pokémon Go Could Transform Learning
Index of Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - cover1
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - cover2
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 3
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 4
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 5
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 6
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - Leadership Matters
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 8
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - Tech Talk
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - The Evolution of Learning & Development: Trends Today
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 11
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 12
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 13
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - The Value of Leadership Development and What Companies Are Spending on Training and Development
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 15
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - Knowledge Transfer Strategies
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 17
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 18
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - Instructional Design Focused on Performance Support
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 20
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 21
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - Joint Training: Learning on Both Sides of the Fence
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 23
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 24
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 25
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - Team Training: A Brief Look at the Options
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 27
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - Training Needs: Ask the Right Experts
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 29
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 30
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - What’s Your End Game?
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - Legal Source
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 33
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - Policy Corner
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 35
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - Peek-a-Boo, Pikachu: Pokémon Go Could Transform Learning
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - 37
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - Index of Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
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HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - cover4
HUMAN Capital - Fall 2016 - outserts1
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