Employees in Alberta who were dismissed and then became disabled during the termination notice period might have questions about their rights when it comes to payment for lost wages. A recent decision made by The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench provides clarity about the termination of employment with a reasonable notice period. The court found that double dipping is not allowed.
The case arose when a man sued his former employer for wrongful termination, claiming payment for lost wages during the notice period. The man was 64 years old, and he sought severance pay for 24 months. He then became disabled during his notice period and started receiving disability benefits to which he was entitled until age 65. The legal point is based on a principle of the employee being entitled to the same remuneration as that to which he or she would have been entitled had there not been a reasonable notice period.
In this case, a Master in Chambers dismissed the worker’s claim. It was concluded that, due to the disability, he would not have been working during that time and would receive disability benefits. Therefore, he was in the same position in which he would be had he not been given reasonable notice. No additional damages arose from his termination and paying both notice pay, and disability benefits would be double dipping.
Wrongful termination claims can be challenging and time-consuming for Alberta employers. For that reason, business owners usually retain the services of a lawyer with experience in dealing with employment law issues. Having legal counsel available to assist when terminations or other employee-related issues arise can avoid unnecessary legal costs and hours in court.