There is a saying in law that “bad facts make bad law.” Of course, the opposite is also true; good facts make good law. In a clear demonstration of the latter, the case of Bray v Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy, 2015 CanLII 3452 (ON SCSM) demonstrates what happens when experienced counsel appears before an experienced trial judge with some pretty decent facts.
While Bray looked at a number of issues of importance to Ontario employment law, the four most interesting features are:
- The judge’s finding that an indefinite layoff is a constructive dismissal;
- The judge’s finding that he had no power to award damages for an act of reprisal following a complaint to the Ontario Ministry of Labour;
- The judge’s award of human rights damages in an Ontario Small Claims decision; and
- The judge’s award of punitive damages for a breach of the duty of honest created by the Supreme Court of Canada in Bhasin v. Hrynew,  S.C.C. 71.