Ridout Barron


Employee alleges wrongful termination

Some readers may be interested to learn that a former employee of the Alberta Human Rights Commission is suing the organization. The employee has alleged that he was wrongfully dismissed and subjected to defamation by the AHRC, and he is seeking at least $3.35 million in damages. He is also seeking to have his dismissal overturned by a judicial order.

The incident is said to have begun on Nov. 3, 2014, when the employee was unexpectedly terminated by a higher level official. According to the employee, the official who terminated him did not have authority to do so, and he has not even been afforded the opportunity to collect his personal items from the workplace. He also claims that he was not permitted to receive severance pay and employment benefits following the dismissal.

An affidavit filed by the commission's senior legal counsel, who was also the plaintiff's boss, indicated that the employee in question had consistently received excellent employment reviews and that she saw no reason for his termination. Moreover, the Justice Minister was allegedly not informed of the incident. The AHRC is also accused of making remarks with respect to the termination that would seem to indicate that the employee was terminated because of negative conduct rather than for some other reason.

In cases where a termination appears to have been wrongful or even arbitrary, the former employee may have legal recourse to pursue damages against the organization in question. A lawyer might be able to help someone in such circumstances by reviewing information and evidence about their situation in order to better substantiate their case and advocate on their behalf.

Source: CBC News, "EXCLUSIVE Lawyer Arman Chak sues Alberta Human Rights Commission," Jennie Russell and Charles Rusnell, Feb. 10, 2015

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