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Court Rules on Deductibility of Statutory Entitlements

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench has ruled Workers’ Compensation Board benefits, and other statutory entitlements, should not be deducted from a monetary award for damages in lieu of notice.

In
Auto Gallery 1994 Ltd. v. Saskatchewan (Director of Labour Standards), the issue before the Court was whether Workers’ Compensation Board payments received by an employee during the notice period under The Labour Standards Act should be deducted from the monetary award for damages in lieu of notice. In a September 7, 2010, decision, Justice Zarzeczny ruled Workers’ Compensation Board benefits, and other statutory entitlements, should not be deducted from the monetary award for damages in lieu of notice. He held there is a difference between the principles of mitigation as they apply to common law actions for wrongful dismissal and the claim of an employee to a statutory entitlement. The employee would have been entitled to these benefits even if she had been given proper notice of termination by the employer and, as such, any statutory benefit paid to the employee during the notice period should not mitigate the employer’s responsibility for damages in lieu of notice.

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