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Suspension held to Constitute Constructive Dismissal:

Employers frequently ask us whether they are allowed to suspend an employee, and, if they do so, whether there is a risk that the employee may sue for constructive dismissal. In a Supreme Court of Canada judgment released on Friday, the main issue was, in what circumstances may a non-unionized employee who is suspended indefinitely with pay claim to have been constructively dismissed? This article will focus on the majority reasons of the Court.

In the case, Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission, the employee was appointed under the Legal Aid Actas the Executive Director of the New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission (the "employer") for a seven-year term. Halfway through the term, the employment relationship started to deteriorate and discussions began between the employee and employer regarding buying out the remainder of the employee's fixed term contract. The employee went on sick leave.

During his sick leave, the employee was advised that the employer was sus...

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