Firefighter’s wrongful dismissal suit moving toward court date

Three applications involved clarification of wages paid to Doug MacLeod because of an error following his initial wrongful dismissal

The regional district made three applications to Judge Sakahashi in regard to an upcoming wrongful dismissal case against a former Keremeos volunteer firefighter at the Penticton courthouse on Monday, February 25.

The three applications involved clarification of wages paid to Doug MacLeod because of a clerical error following his initial wrongful dismissal on March 25, 2011.

In the application, counsel for the regional district admitted that Keremeos Fire Chief Jordy Bosscha didn’t have the authority to fire MacLeod for “insubordination,” as a hearing before the regional district board was required.

On August 4, 2011, the RDOS board did reach a decision to terminate MacLeod’s volunteer employment without cause, including payment of all wages and payment in lieu of notice, due to a clerical error. With additional information presented to RDOS counsel, it was subsequently determined that MacLeod was not entitled to payment in lieu of notice.

The second application involved a request to the judge to allow the RDOS to pursue dismissal of MacLeod’s case because of a six week limit for making a claim. Citing section 285 of the Local Government Act, RDOS counsel stated that MacLeod could not “ make a claim for an unlawful doing of something that would be otherwise lawful.” MacLeod, who had anticipated defence counsel’s application, was nonetheless not given an opportunity to respond to the application until the case comes before the courts on April 26.

In its third application, defense asked Judge Takahashi for permission from the court to make an offer of settlement to MacLeod, as the regional district “would like to make an offer to settle.”

MacLeod  agreed with defense counsel’s first application, while wishing to contest the second one. He told the court he was willing to discuss a settlement offer with the regional district.

In discussing the matter of the original dismissal, Judge Takahashi agreed that there were still “outstanding live issues” in the case. He granted defense the three terms of their application.

The case will be presented before the courts on April 26, unless the parties agree to an outside the court settlement beforehand.