Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice, and provides Kelowna Capital News with weekly stories from the world of local, national and international law. (Contributed)

Kootnekoff: Royal Dismissal

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

-Originally written March, 2020

Any resemblance in this article to real persons, dead or alive, or other real-life entities, past or present, is purely coincidental.

Once upon a time, there was a royal family.

The ruler of the Kingdom was a King. He had three sons, Duke A, Duke B and Duke C. Duke A and Duke B were married.

Duke A was in direct succession to the throne. He would one day become king.

Duke C lives in a foreign land.

Countless images reveal that for whatever reason, Duke A’s wife, Duchess A, does not like Duke B’s wife, Duchess B.

She turns her back on her at every opportunity.

Some quietly suggested that Duke A may have bullying tendencies.

Duke and Duchess A do everything within their power to limit Duchess B.

Others in the family follow suit.

After all, they are royal and can do as they please.

Who will hold them to account?

As they attempt to marginalize Duchess B, Duke and Duchess A become downright mean to Duke and Duchess B.

Duke and Duchess B are banished to a remote part of the kingdom, the Boonies.

They are told not to attend important events. When their attendance is rarely permitted, they are relegated to the sidelines. They are ignored, scorned or ridiculed.

The media within the Kingdom is unrelentingly negative in its coverage of Duchess B. Duke and Duchess B are unable to cope with the continual onslaught of unfounded criticism.

No one in the royal family sticks up for them. No one intervenes on their behalf.

Instead, their photo is removed from the King’s wall of prized photos.

Behind the scenes, their daily life is made intolerable.

At the same time, they are expected to remain in and “serve” the Kingdom and the ruling monarch for life.

Duke and Duchess B are employees of the King, the reigning monarch.

Understandably, they are not happy. So, they attempt to negotiate changes to their employment relationship.

No one within the monarchy believes they can really do anything about it. No one will meaningfully negotiate with them.

The King advises his staff he does not want to hear their names spoken.

They realize they have only one option.

They do the unthinkable.

They leave the Kingdom. They move to Utopia, a territory over which the King is a figurehead but over whose courts he does not preside. They state that they will continue to serve the King, but from a distance – from Utopia.

After Duke and Duchess B move to Utopia, the King announces that he agrees with and supports their move.

However, he denies much of what they sought in their physical separation from Duke and Duchess A.

They are told to repay millions of dollars of renovations to their home in the Boonies.

They are told not to use the trade name they created.

The King withdraws financing for their protection officers.

They are prohibited from referring to themselves as “royal”, even though Duke B remains part of the royal family.

Upon their last visit back to the Kingdom, which they dutifully undertook at the Kings’ direction, Duke and Duchess A publicly humiliate them. This spectacle was witnessed by millions around the world.

Duke and Duchess B return to Utopia broken hearted and alone. The injustice of it all sinks in more deeply. Duke B is shaken. His own family pushed him out, and then left him and Duchess B to fend for themselves. Why?

Duke and Duchess A continue to attend state banquets, don expensive attire, and smile for the cameras.

The problem, at least for the Kingdom, is that Duke and Duchess B’s employment ended in Utopia, and they resided there during all relevant times. Employees in Utopia have certain rights.

In Utopia, employees have the right to reasonable dismissal or pay in lieu thereof.

Under Utopian law, someone who has served the King for his entire lifetime, and legitimately expected to remain so employed, may be entitled to sizeable notice of dismissal. This means full compensation over the entire period of reasonable notice.

In Utopia, a constructive dismissal – being involuntarily forced out – is recognized as a dismissal.

Employers with employees in Utopia owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to their employees. When breached, it may result in a substantial extraordinary damages award.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if Duke and Duchess B commenced a wrongful dismissal action in a Utopian court, against the King, Duke and Duchess A and others who contributed to their dismissal?

Wouldn’t it be interesting if the defendants were named in their personal capacities?

Then everyone would potentially learn much, much more about what went on.

It would be complex litigation. It would be historic.

It could do far more damage to the Kingdom’s monarchy than anyone ever had.

In case you missed it?

2019 new directions report on B.C.’s WCB

AboutSusanKootnekoff:

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice. Photo: Contributed

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice. Photo: Contributed

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice. She has been practicing law since 1994, with brief stints away to begin raising children.

Susan has experience in many areas of law, but is most drawn to areas in which she can make a positive difference in people’s lives, including employment law.

She has been a member of the Law Society of Alberta since 1994 and a member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 2015. Susan grew up in Saskatchewan. Her parents were both entrepreneurs, and her father was also a union leader who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of workers. Before moving to B.C., Susan practiced law in both Calgary and Fort McMurray, Alta.

Living and practicing law in Fort McMurray made a lasting impression on Susan. It was in this isolated and unique community that her interest in employment law, and Canada’s oil sands industry, took hold. In 2013,

Susan moved to the Okanagan with her family, where she currently resides.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ColumnistCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

The City of Vernon is encouraging its residents to participate in the Vernon Tree Program for Earth Day Thursday, April 22. (File photo)
Vernon Tree Program participation encouraged for Earth Day

The tree program provides information about the benefits of planting shade trees, as well as resources

The GVMA’s virtual program, ECO: Ecological Change in the Okanagan includes the perspective of Justen Peters, K’nmaĺka? Sənqâĺtən Indigenous Garden tour leader, pictured here with Laisha Rosnau, GVMA Program Coordinator. (Silmara Emde photo)
Earth Day expo explores North Okanagan landscapes

Museum teams up with Syilx youth leader for virtual experience

Kelowna’s main drag, Bernard Avenue, was closed to vehicle traffic on June 29, 2020, allowing businesses — and pedestrians — to expand into the street. The closure lasted two months. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Vernon eyes closing Main Street to bolster business recovery

City staff to prepare report ahead of May 10 meeting of council regarding pilot project

The pool at Easter Seals Camp Winfield will be filled once again with excited campers as the fun moves to day camps this summer. (Photo submitted)
Camp Winfield to open for day campers

Return to popular facility to happen in July after being closed in 2020 due to COVID

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
‘I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident wants the Columbia River better protected

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

The City of Penticton is looking into the possibility of licensing certain public spaces to permit alcohol consumption during set hours. The city could see legal public drinking as early as June 5, 2020. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Booze on the beach set to make a comeback in Penticton for summer 2021

Penticton council gave the first three readings to bring back limited public drinking

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Katerina Bakalos of Summerland will release her first single on May 1. The music label is LMS Entertainment from Kelowna. (Contributed)
Summerland singer to release single under Kelowna-based label

Katerina Bakalos has performed a rock rendition of I Think We’re Alone Now

Most Read