Judge settles court case involving Kwantlen Polytechnic University and former employee

B.C. Supreme Court judge determines KPU must pay former director eight day's salary

A former Kwantlen Polytechnic University director was dismissed without cause

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct information concerning the amount Kwantlen Polytechnic University was required to pay its former employee. The original story reported that KPU had been ordered to pay a former employee $83,000 in damages for wrongful dismissal. In fact, KPU was ordered to pay $3,070.77 on top of payments already made as proper notice. The Now regrets the error.


SURREY — A B.C. Supreme Court Judge has determined that a former Kwantlen Polytechnic University director who claimed damages for wrongful dismissal against her employer will receive eight day’s pay, or $3,070.77, on top of payments that KPU already made as proper notice.

Sandra Schinnerl was KPU’s director of international programs and exchanges, hired in 2007 at a salary just shy of $100,000.

In 2013 she received an education leave from work to pursue doctoral studies in public policy, focusing on immigration policy as it relates to international students. But when she returned to work in 2016, Justice John Steeves noted, Schinnerl’s employment was terminated without cause apparently as a result of restructuring by KPU, which has campuses in Newton, Cloverdale, Langley and Richmond.

Steeves presided over the case in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, in his summary he noted Schinnerl “was dismissed without cause” in March 2016.

“The plaintiff is entitled to damages equivalent to ten months’ salary at $3,838 bi-weekly for the defendant’s wrongful dismissal of her,” he stated in his summary, adding that “the defendant’s obligation to pay notice ended on June 13, 2016 when the plaintiff had the opportunity to work full-time in alternate employment and thus mitigate her damages after that date. The defendant has paid the plaintiff up to June 1, 2016.”

The court heard KPU offered to continue paying Schinnerl her salary and benefits for 10 months provided she conducted “reasonable” job searches and told KPU if she got a new job within that time. The university’s conditions were that if she were hired by a “public sector employer” in that 10 months KPU, and if her new salary was less than what she earned at KPU, it would pay her the shortfall. But if her new employer was not a “public sector employer,” as defined in the Public Sector Employer’s Act, the salary continuance payments would end the day she started her new job and KPU would provide her with a lump-sum severance “less deductions required by law, equal to 50 per cent of the remaining salary (she) would have received” had she remained unemployed “until the end of the salary continuance period.”

The judge noted that Schinnerl “did not accept the defendant’s offer” but “nonetheless the defendant paid the plaintiff as described in its offer.”

Within a few months, Schinnerl was hired by Douglas College as its director of global engagement, at a higher full-time salary than KPU had been paying.

But Steeves noted that Schinnerl’s first six months’ work at Douglas College was part-time, and then full-time thereafter. The court decided that KPU’s obligation to pay its former employee stopped when Douglas College offered her full-time regular work on June 13, 2016.




Just Posted

Surrey mayor appoints Terry Waterhouse to oversee policing transition

Waterhouse was hired by the previous Surrey First slate as the city’s first-ever Director of Public Safety Strategies

Gas prices in Metro Vancouver to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

White Rock included on Maclean’s ‘most dangerous places’ listing

Cities across Canada ranked on crime severity index

White Rock developer seeks legal opinion

Previously-approved 12-storey projects under study by current council

Surrey councillor defends SOGI 123 stance after resigning from AutismBC

Laurie Guerra stands by her opposition to SOGI 123 resource as backlash over meeting comes to a head

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

128 people died of illicit drug overdoses in B.C. in September

The province is on track to record the same or more overdose deaths this year as last

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Vancouver Island man survived for ‘days’ trapped in smashed truck

Duncan Moffat, 23, found by hunter by the side of the road near Sayward

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

5 to start your day

Letters reveal mental state of Surrey mom charged in daughter’s death, B.C. man wanted for alleged ‘serious domestic assault’ in Alberta and more

B.C. man wanted in connection to domestic assault in Edmonton

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Most Read