A Surrey brewery has been ordered to pay a former employee more than $200,000 in damages after he successfully sued it for wrongful dismissal.
The case, Daryl Hrynkiw versus Central City Brewers & Distillers Ltd., was heard in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, with Justice Karen Horsman presiding.
Hrynkiw worked with the brewery from March 2012 until his termination on July 6, 2018. During that time he was promoted from controller to chief financial officer.
“The defendant says the plaintiff unilaterally and deliberately assigned himself a level of vacation entitlement greater than that agreed to,” Horsman noted in her Nov. 4 reasons for judgment, “and also paid himself unauthorized share bonus compensation. This, along with other related allegations of misconduct against the plaintiff, constitutes what the defendant says is cause for the plaintiff’s dismissal. The defendant counterclaims for the recovery of what it says were unauthorized share bonus payments to the plaintiff.”
Hrynkiw was 56 when he was fired. The judge concluded the defendant “did not have cause for dismissal in relation to the plaintiff’s genuinely held beliefs as to the level of his share bonus compensation and vacation entitlement.”
She also found the brewery did not have cause to dismiss Hrynkiw on the ground of insubordination.
“In summary, I conclude that the defendant did not have just cause to dismiss the plaintiff, and thus was not entitled to summarily dismiss the plaintiff without reasonable notice. The plaintiff is entitled to compensation in lieu of the notice,” she decided. “I am persuaded on the evidence that the plaintiff suffered mental distress as a result of the manner of his dismissal that transcends the ordinary upset that would ensue from the fact of dismissal.”
Horsman ordered the brewery to pay Hrynkiw $201,910.55 in damages. Of that, $33,513.92 is for the share bonus compensation owed to the plaintiff at the time of his dismissal, $14,903.87 for accrued vacation pay owed to him, $118,492.76 as compensation in lieu of reasonable notice, and $35,000 in aggravated damages.