Release Does Not Oust the Jurisdiction of a CLC Unjust Dismissal Adjudicator:

In Li v Bank of Montreal ( 2018 CarswellNat 1229 ) Adjudicator Webster had a situation where a dismissed employee signed a release after receiving legal advice, got the money ( and probably spent it) but afterwards initiated a Section 240 Unjust Dismissal complaint under the Canada labour Code.

Citing various Federal Court decisions , the Adjudicator said that she had no jurisdiction to dismiss the complaint simply because the employee signed a release before she had filed her complaint.

In her final paragraph she said :

The Agreement and Release signed by the parties in April of 2017 is not a bar to the hearing of the Complaint of unjust dismissal, but may be an important consideration with respect to an appropriate remedy if the dismissal is found to be unjust.

How to avoid this outcome?

As there is very short 90 day window for a complaint to be filed, if the release was signed after the 90 days then the employee would be barred from even filing a complaint.

I suppose the prudent federal employer will have to first wait 90 days, then make inquiries if a complaint has been filed and only then settle with the employee.

Sounds stupid , no? That the law for ya.