Client Alert - Not so "independent" - some contractors are entitled to reasonable notice period

07/12/17

On May 10, 2017 the British Columbia Supreme Court released its decision Glimhagen v GWR Resources Inc., 2017 BCSC 761, in which it determined that the plaintiff was entitled to reasonable notice for the years spent working for the defendant as a contractor. The Court arrived at this decision by categorizing the plaintiff as a "dependent contractor" as opposed to an independent contractor.

The Court determined that a “dependent contractor”, while not on company payroll, is entitled to reasonable notice of termination of their (often long standing) contract. The Court asserts that protection is required for those individuals who fall between being an employee and being an independent contractor. In particular, to provide protection for economically vulnerable and dependent workers.

It may be difficult for employers to know if any of their perceived "independent" contractors have in fact fallen into the category of dependent contractor, and if they may come to owe that contractor a duty to give reasonable notice prior to terminating their contractual relationship.

If you have contractors and are unsure if they have fallen into the dependent category, contact us today to help assess your obligations.

For more information please contact either of our Workplace Law Group Co Chairs: Melanie Samuels, msamuels@singleton.com or Veronica Rossos, vrossos@singleton.com


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