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Canadian Court Holds Employee Has No Duty to Accept Lower Position If Constructively Dismissed Via Demotion

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In Farwell v. Citair, Inc., the Canadian Superior Court of Justice affirmed a trial court ruling that Citair had wrongfully dismissed Kenneth Farwell. The Court held that Farwell did not have an obligation to accept an alternative position offered to him by Citair. The alternative job was below Farwell’s most recent position; and though it had the same salary and working conditions as Farwell’s most recent position, it involved a likely reduction in bonus.

The Court found that an employee cannot be obligated to mitigate by working in an atmosphere of hostility, embarrassment, or humiliation. And since accepting a position lower than his previous position would humiliate Farwell, he did not have a duty to accept it.

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