Former flight attendant ordered to post $10,000 security for costs before appeal of wrongful dismissal ruling can proceed by B.C. court

A flight attendant doing a demonstration in the cabin. Photo: Canva

A former flight attending for Jazz Aviation was ordered to post security for costs in the amount of $10,000 in order for his appeal in a wrongful dismissal case to proceed.

The Court of Appeal for British Columbia granted the application by the employer for security for costs. The appeal will remain stayed until the security is posted.

The appeal stemmed from an order by Justice Thomas of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, which dismissed the attendant’s multi-faceted damages action against Jazz Aviation LP and two individuals.

The former flight attendant — AA — alleged incidents of racist comments and a verbal altercation involving two colleagues Following the second incident, Jazz terminated AA’s employment for cause.

The chambers judge determined that the claims fell within the collective agreement governing AA’s employment, thereby depriving the Supreme Court of British Columbia of jurisdiction, based on the precedent set in Weber v. Ontario Hydro. Citing the principles established in Weber, the judge dismissed AA’s action with costs and disbursements fixed at $10,000.

AA pursued various claims against Jazz and the individual respondents through different avenues, including the Canadian Flight Attendant Union, the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the Federal Court, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. However, these attempts were unsuccessful.

In the present matter, Justice Frankel considered the respondents’ application for security for costs. Under Rule 85(5) of the new Court of Appeal Rules, the judge hearing a security for costs application is not bound by a previous conclusion on a no fee application. Frankel also noted that AA’s filing of the factum provided an opportunity to assess the merits of the appeal.

Justice Frankel determined that AA’s appeal was bound to fail, as there was no error in the chambers judge’s application of Weber. He highlighted that AA failed to address the crucial issue of jurisdiction in his factum. The judge concluded that AA lacked the financial means to post security for costs and that the employer would not be able to recover their costs if the appeal were to proceed.

Consequently, the Court of Appeal ordered AA to post security for costs in the amount of $10,000 within 30 days. Failure to comply would give the respondents the right to apply for the appeal to be dismissed as abandoned.

For more information, see Ashraf v. Jazz Aviation LP, 2023 BCCA 284 (CanLII).

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