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Mitigation Following Termination Of Employment: A Cautionary Tale

Absent a contractual term to the contrary, an employee who has been terminated from employment has a "duty to mitigate" and search for alternative employment. As set out in Michaels v. Red Deer College:

"The primary rule in breach of contract cases, that a wronged plaintiff is entitled to be put in as good a position as he would have been in if there had been proper performance by the defendant, is subject to the qualification that the defendant cannot be called upon to pay for avoidable losses which would result in an increase in the quantum of damages payable to the plaintiff. The reference in the case law to a "duty" to mitigate should be understood in this sense."1

In short, this duty requires an employee to take reasonable steps to attempt to find new employment. A court will reduce any monetary award made to the former employee by the amount of employment income the employee earned from other sources during the reasonable notice period. A court may also reduce any monetary ...

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