In Jonasson v Nexen Energy ( 2018 ( ABQB 598 ) Justice Antonio had a case where the plaintiff with 22 years service requested a leave of absence. He signed an agreement which indicated that there was no guarantee that when he came back there would be a job waiting for him, only that the employer would make reasonable efforts to find him one. If a new job could not be found then he was deemed to have resigned.
However management knew at the time that there was no prospect of a job at the end of leave as the plaintiff was already on a potential layoff list. While he was on leave his position was eliminated. The employer declared that he had quit pursuant to the LOA agreement.
The Court found that the actions of the employer amounted to bad faith. He was awarded 22 months notice for wrongful dismissal and awarded $20,000 in punitive damages because they ” displayed an outrageous degree of negligence towards him ” by taking the position that he resigned when they essentially lied to him about his prospects of reemployment after the leave was over.