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Employee Fails to Mitigate Damages by Turning Down Employer’s Replacement Job Offer

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An Ontario Judge has confirmed that an employee’s duty to mitigate may well include taking a job that is offered by the dismissing employer.

In June 2008, Aleem Ghanny was told by his employer that his employment as the Service Manager of a local Toyota dealership would terminate at the end of the month. However, at the same time, Ghanny was told that he would be relocated to a related dealership where he would continue as Parts and Service Manager and receive an identical compensation package. Despite the employer’s assurances that Ghanny’s seniority would be transferred to the new dealership which was located only a few blocks away from his current workplace, Ghanny rejected his employer’s replacement job offer and commenced a claim for wrongful dismissal.

Holding that Ghanny had acted unreasonably in rejecting his employer’s offer, the Judge dismissed Ghanny’s claim. Viewed objectively, there was no difference between the two positions nor was there any indication that the working conditions at the new dealership were demeaning or that Ghanny’s relationship with the owner or other employees had become difficult or acrimonious. Further, while Ghanny had expressed some concern over the future of the new dealership, the Judge noted such concerns were unfounded – “Even if the replacement job had only lasted nine months… that was still nine months of reasonably required mitigation.”

Ghanny v. 498326 Ontario Limited: http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2012/2012onsc3276/2012onsc3276.pdf