August 14, 2018

Natalie MacDonald is working on an update to her influential book, Extraordinary Damages in Canadian Employment Law.

MacDonald completed the original in 2010 but tells that she hopes to have the revised version available for publication by Carswell sometime in 2019.

“There have been some big changes in the case law which will feature strongly,” she says. “The book has been quoted in lots of decisions, and I keep hearing that people are waiting for the update, so it’s very exciting to be working on it.”

One case, which MacDonald successfully argued, Galea v. Walmart, decided in late 2017, will feature heavily in the update, according to MacDonald, who also acted for the plaintiff. It involved a woman regarded as a rising star in the boardroom of a major retailer before her unceremonious firing from a senior management position in 2010.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Emery ordered her former employer to pay the woman $750,000, including $250,000 in moral damages, covering aggravated damages and damages for mental distress.

“It’s the leading decision now, and has really changed the landscape in terms of moral damages,” MacDonald says. “Before now, moral damages were not something that were readily provided by courts because of the danger of duplicate damages. But Justice Emery was very careful about how the damages were defined to ensure there was no overlap.

“It’s an incredibly important decision, not just for the amount of damages, but for its principles regarding manner of dismissal and, I’m told it is consistently cited in every case brief ever since,” she adds.

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