World News

No extra pension: B.C. court tells ex-employee

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's highest court has ruled a former employee of the province's now-defunct teachers' college was dismissed without cause but is not entitled to additional pension benefits.

Beverley Maxwell was a director of certification for the B.C. College of Teachers when it was replaced in early 2012 by the Teacher Regulation Branch.

She turned down a job offer with the branch over concerns about reduced pay, vacation and severance, and took her former employer to the B.C. Supreme Court, where she was awarded $312,000 in August 2012 for severance and other benefits.

The government appealed, arguing Maxwell did not have a right to the severance package and was required to mitigate the damages, or lessen the impact by accepting the job, but Maxwell cross appealed, saying she was entitled to even more pension for a 24-month period.

B.C. Court of Appeal Justice Edward Chiasson says Maxwell was dismissed without cause, her employer was required to compensate her, she was not required to mitigate the damages, and as a result turned down the government's appeal.

But Chiasson also says it wasn't clear that the government did anything to deprive Maxwell of the additional pension benefits and dismissed her cross appeal, leaving her with the original $312,000.

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