Judge awards top extraordinary damages awards in Canadian employment law history
TORONTO, Jan. 24, 2018 /CNW/ - After eight years of fighting on behalf of client Gail Galea against Wal-Mart Canada, Toronto employment law experts Natalie C. MacDonald and Cody Yorke, of MacDonald & Associates, have secured one of the top damage awards in Canadian employment law history.
In a decision released on December 7, 2017, Justice Michael G. Emery issued a leading decision on punitive damages and moral damages in employment law. He awarded $750,000 for moral and punitive damages to Ms Galea, a former Wal-Mart Canada executive.
According to Justice Emery, as written in his decision, Ms Galea was left to "twist in the wind." "Wal-Mart's conduct both before termination and since termination towards Ms. Galea has been, in a word, deplorable," he wrote.
"It was an eight year battle that concluded by vindicating my client Gail Galea," said Natalie MacDonald, founder of MacDonald & Associates and the author of Extraordinary Damages in Canadian Employment Law. "I'm delighted by the judgment, and the extraordinary damages that were awarded to her."
Ms Galea was hired by Wal-Mart Canada in 2002 as a District Manager-in-Training. However, she quickly climbed the corporate ladder to the role of Vice-President, General Merchandise.
"Only Wal-Mart knew that Ms. Galea's career was over long before she was actually terminated. To keep her in suspended animation was unduly insensitive conduct," states Justice Emery's decision. "I am of the view that Wal-Mart's conduct when dealing with Ms. Galea between January 29, 2010 and November 19, 2010 was callous, highhanded, insensitive and reprehensible, deserving of an award for punitive damages."
Ms Galea was bound by a two-year non-compete clause, however she was to be paid her salary and benefits for two years if fired without cause. Instead, Wal-Mart cut her off after only 11.5 months without warning or explanation.
"Employers should take note: acting in bad faith will result in the courts awarding extraordinary damages," explains Ms MacDonald.
About MacDonald & Associates
MacDonald & Associates www.macdonaldassociates.ca is a boutique employment law firm working with employees and employers. The founder, Natalie MacDonald, has been selected as one of the leading Labour and Employment law practitioners in the world in both 2016 and 2017, according to the 6th and 7th editions of the Expert Guides Women in Business Law guide.
Natalie was also selected as the Employment Litigation Law Expert in Canada in 2017 by both Global Law Experts and Leaders in Law. The accreditation process is by invitation only, with recommendations coming via the research team. She is the author of 'Extraordinary Damages in Canadian Employment Law', which has received critical acclaim by both courts and the bar in general.
SOURCE MacDonald & Associates
For further information: or to interview Natalie MacDonald, please contact Robert Cosentini, iAMBIC Communications, [email protected] or 905-508-5550.