Our client, a maintenance engineer, was dismissed after 15 years on the job. We first represented him at a hearing under the Canada Labour Code, where we asked an Adjudicator to determine his severance entitlements on dismissal. Key to this determination was whether our client had been an employee or independent contractor. We were successful in showing that he was an employee, despite the employer’s many arguments to the contrary, and the Adjudicator accordingly awarded our client damages equal to 14-months’ severance.
The employer sought a judicial review of this award by the Federal Court of Canada. The Federal Court overturned the Adjudicator’s decision, holding that our client was barred from claiming that he was an employee because there was affidavit evidence from an older, unrelated court case that he was an independent contractor. Because of these affidavits, the Court denied him any severance.
We successfully appealed this Court decision on our client’s behalf to the Federal Court of Appeal. The appeal court disagreed with the Federal Court, upheld the Adjudicator’s original finding that our client was unjustly dismissed, and confirmed his entitlement to 14-months’ severance.