In Yates v Langley motor Sport Centre Ltd., 2021 BCSC 2175, the Plaintiff advanced a wrongful dismissal claim against the Defendant employer. The Plaintiff commenced employment with the Defendant on July 8, 2019 and was laid off on March 23, 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. She did not return to her employment and the Defendant conceded she was terminated without cause.
The Court found that, given the specific circumstances of the case, five months of notice would have been reasonable and she was awarded the amount of $25,000.00 representing pay in lieu.
The Court also accepted that CERB benefits are to be deducted to any award made for wrongful dismissal. The Court noted as follows:
In this case I find that CERB payments would not have been payable to Ms. Yates if she had not been terminated from her employment with Langley Hyundai – which termination constitutes a breach of her employment contract justifying payment in lieu of notice. Further, I find that CERB payments are a benefit intended by the Government of Canada to be an indemnity for the loss of regular salary arising from Langley Hyundai’s breach of Ms. Yates’ employment contract. Unlike an employee funded pension or a private disability insurance policy Ms. Yates did not contribute to the benefit.
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