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Fergus man fired from farm job after 40 years wins $434,980 lawsuit

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Fergus man fired from farm job after 40 years wins 4,980 lawsuit

Uncontested lawsuit saw man awarded promised retirement bonus and unpaid wages as well as damages for wrongful dismissal

A Fergus man who was constructively dismissed from his farm job of 40 years was awarded $434,980 as a result of an uncontested lawsuit against the farms he worked for and the man who ran them.

Much of that money comes from a promised but unpaid “retirement bonus” and damages for wrongful dismissal, as well as unpaid wages, aggravated damages and punitive damages.

The man claimed in his lawsuit that he was promised $250,000 upon retirement.

None of the defendants filed any evidence or statements in the matter, meaning it proceeded as an undefended trial, held May 16 in Guelph.

“His economic security and plans for future economic stability and comfort in retirement have been irreparably damaged and that is a source of great concern and emotional upset to him,” wrote Justice Gordon Lemon in his decision, released July 8. 

“(The plaintiff) testified that, because of his termination, he had to sell the family home and move into his parents’ basement. He and his wife then lived in a trailer and now live in an apartment.”

The man effectively acted as senior management for the farming operations, Lemon wrote, having spent his entire adult life working for the defendants.

He was 58 years old when he was laid off without notice in January of 2019. Three months later, in May, his layoff turned into constructive dismissal, the ruling explains.

However, with the expectation of receiving the promised retirement bonus, he continued to provide assistance around the farm without compensation.

“The manner of termination left (the plaintiff) with the embarrassment of having been betrayed and cheated by the man he had trusted for many years. That was clearly devastating,” Lemon wrote. “The manner of his dismissal is shocking.”

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