Federal Court


Requirement that employee retire not modified by extensions of agreement

Application by employee for judicial review of decision of assistant commissioner of Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) dismissing grievance. Employee worked for predecessor of CRA as director of human resources (Pacific region). In May 2004, employee signed initial agreement accepting another position until her retirement in October 2007. In June 2005, employee signed second agreement allowing her to be placed temporarily with Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada. Second agreement was extended number of times with latest extension covering up to December 2007. In March 2007, CRA asked employee to sign third agreement extending initial agreement up to December 2007. Employee refused to sign third agreement due to requirement to resign in December 2007. Second agreement was extended to June 2008. CRA terminated employee in June 2008. Employee unsuccessfully grieved to one of CRA’s assistant commissioners. Application dismissed. Assistant commissioner had applied correct legal principles despite not expressly considering them, and her decision was reasonable. Employee had clearly signed initial agreement despite any misgivings. Assistant commissioner could reasonably conclude employee had not been subjected to kind of pressure that would make initial agreement void or voidable. Record before assistant commissioner indicated employee had not raised concerns for some two and one-half years after signing first agreement. Assistant commissioner was entitled to take employee’s silence into account. Assistant commissioner reasonably concluded that requirement in initial agreement that employee retire had not been modified by extensions of second agreement. Persons with whom employee had dealt when extending second agreement had no authority to vary initial agreement. CRA had acquiesced in extensions but this in itself did not amount to waiver of requirement to retire. Assistant commissioner reasonably concluded there had been no mutual agreement to vary requirement to retire.

Lawton v. Canada Revenue Agency (Sep. 11, 2012, F.C., Hughes J., File No. T-456-11) 221 A.C.W.S. (3d) 352.

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