Explain the test for frustration of contract and provide some examples of how it might arise in the employment setting. What must an employer prove to persuade a court that a contract has been frustrated due to the employee’s illness?

SCENARIO

Last year, County Beer Company hired Bridget Dortman as a beer maker after she graduated from college with a diploma in Brewing Sciences. As a beer maker, Bridget learned the formula and process used to make the popular County Beer Ale. One day, Amanda Wellington, the new human resources manager, noticed when going through personnel files that there was no signed employment contract for Bridget. She asked the owners about this, and they told her they must have forgotten to get Bridget to sign. So, Amanda prepared a standard employment contract and presented it to Bridget to sign. Bridget read the contract and noticed a non-competition clause which stated that Bridget could not work for another beer company in Alberta for a year after her employment ended with County Beer. Bridget thought that was unfair, but because Amanda told her that all employees must have a signed contract, she signed the contract. Two years later, Bridget quit County Beer and accepted a job as a beer maker at Northern Brewery, a small micro-brewery located in the north of Alberta, nearly 500 kilometres from County Beer.

Assume that County Beer launches a lawsuit against Bridget for breaching the non-competition clause in the employment contract and that Bridget comes to you for legal advice. What would you argue on behalf of Bridgett in her defense?

Explain the test for frustration of contract and provide some examples of how it might arise in the employment setting. What must an employer prove to persuade a court that a contract has been frustrated due to the employee’s illness?

What is the difference between compensatory and aggravated damages? Explain the circumstances under which a court might order aggravated damages in a wrongful dismissal lawsuit and provide some examples.

Which of the following scenarios are examples of direct discrimination, and which are examples of indirect or systemic discrimination? What prohibited ground(s) might apply in each case?

A rule requires all employees to stand for their entire seven-hour shift.

A women’s prison advertises jobs for “female prison guards.”

A bar hires only women to be servers and only men to be kitchen staff.

An airline requires pilots to retire at age 60.

An employer stipulates that all employees must be able to carry 20-kilogram boxes from one side of the factory to the other several times per day.

What must an employee demonstrate to establish a “prima facie” case of discrimination? If an employee can demonstrate this, does it mean that the employer has violated human rights legislation? What could be an employer’s defense?

Explain the test for frustration of contract and provide some examples of how it might arise in the employment setting. What must an employer prove to persuade a court that a contract has been frustrated due to the employee’s illness?