Old, Old, Old Claims For Vacation Pay

Our Supreme Court in a recent wrongful dismissal claim, Pritchard v. The Stuffed Animal House Ltd., determined that an employee suing for wrongful dismissal could recover for unused vacation days going back some 12 years. The court reasoned that the limitation period for the commencement of an action to collect vacation pay would not start to run until the termination of employment. This case has serious consequences for those employers who are lax about ensuring that all vacations are properly accounted for on an annual basis. All employers should ensure that the end of each year there is a written agreement between employer and employee as to entitlement to vacation days over and above the statutory entitlement In the Employment Standards Act.
The time limit for making a complaint for statutory vacation pay is six months from the date of  termination or complaint going back only six months.

The law is not particularly clear on whether claims for vacation pay under the Employment Standards Act can be included with a wrongful dismissal claim or whether such claims need to be brought through the complaint process to Employment Standards Branch.

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