In McLeod v Lifelabs ( 2015 CarswellBC 2937) the BC Supreme Court awarded 18 months notice to a 50 year old Process Improvement Manager with 25.5 years service. The defendant put forward an “expert” on job availability who duplicated job listings and included jobs that paid $14 an hour when the plaintiff’s job paid $126K. The Employer had provided the Plaintiff with the services of a a well respected relocation counsellor ( Right Associates ) but did not call them to trial, presumably because the plaintiff did everything in looking for a job that she was supposed to.
This case should have taken a half day, a full day at best, The use of “experts” in respect to mitigation is usually a waste of time and effort. The threshold for what is a reasonable mitigation effort is quite low, so unless there is somewhat dramatic in the plaintiff’s lack of effort, this issue usually goes to the Plaintiff.
In my mediation experience, the Employer who attacks the Plaintiff’s job search efforts the most are often the same employers who paid little or no severance, allege weak just cause, refuse to provide a reference letter, complain that the plaintiff was a incompetent employee and refuse to provide relocation counselling .
On the other hand the bane of every plaintiff lawyer is the client who fails to properly record his or her job search so what looks like a great case in the beginning collapses at the mediation because the client failed to do the one thing they were supposed to, namely , look for and record an exhaustive job search.