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Wrongful Dismissal Plaintiff Left Empty-Handed
September 3, 2003

In an August 2003 decision, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that Workers’ Compensation benefits are to be deducted from wrongful dismissal damages. The case involved a 32 year old warehouse employee who was dismissed by London Drugs after 10 years of service. At the time of his dismissal, the employee was working part-time and receiving partial WCB benefits, having recently returned from an absence caused by a work-related back injury. London Drugs acknowledged that the dismissal was without cause, and it provided the employee with 20 weeks’ severance pay in lieu of notice. The employee continued to receive WCB benefits for five months after his dismissal, including rehabilitation benefits and job search allowances.

The BC Supreme Court awarded the employee wrongful dismissal damages based upon a notice period of 30 weeks. The Court found, however, that the WCB benefits received by the employee during the 30-week period were to be deducted from his wrongful dismissal damages. After making this deduction and subtracting the severance pay provided by London Drugs, the employee’s net damages were nil.

(click here for full text of the judgment)