Mitigation and Terminations in Alberta
A factor that employees are often not aware of (and conversely employers often are aware of) is mitigation of damages.
When you are fired, the Courts here expect you to take steps to find another job. You have to actively look for a job. You should keep a record of that job search. If you don't actively look for another job, then you can be found to have not mitigated your damages.
If in the course of your job search you find a similar job to the one you had, then you might need to take it. However, you do not need to take any job whatsoever. When in doubt check with your lawyer.
Mitigation has a number of subtleties to it. The courts have said that sometimes employees can be allowed some time to mourn their previous job- although in our experience it is better to try to mitigate almost immediately.
It is strongly arguable that during the period of Severance (i.e. Employment Standards Code or Canada Labour Code) payments, mitigation does not apply.
Mitigation can be more difficult to do depending on the individual circumstances of the Employee. The courts have recognized age, the state of the economy and pregnancy as issues which can affect the ability to mitigate.
If you have questions as to how mitigation works, please feel free to contact us.
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.