My counsel advised that I settle, sign the Full and Final Release, withdraw my action for wrongful dismissal, infringement of my religious freedom, non-accommodation of mental health injury, and state that I was not bullied and harassed at work. My counsel said I have no case, I can or will lose at trial, or if I won, the monetary award will be less than the defense's settlement -- the defense will likely withdraw their offer because their case against me is strong. Counsel said I was abusing his time by my not agreeing to settle and sign the release.
We were going to have the mandatory mediation meeting in early 2020. As soon as we sat down in the mediation room, before we even met the mediator, counsel asked me to withdraw my bullying & harassment claims against the company's managers. Note that my counsel did not include bullying & harassment in my civil court claim, he said as a matter of strategy. After the mediation meeting, I instructed my counsel that "I accept the amount offered to settle my claim against my employer" but "without prejudice to my tribunal application against the individual managers." The defense rejected my counter-offer to settle. I instructed counsel to amend my claim by dropping my religious freedom and mental health injury claims in the action, move for summary judgment on my wrongful dismissal claim only. The defense asked that I pay in advance partial indemnity costs before they consent to my amendment, I paid the money to my counsel, he refused to pay the defendant, and the defendant did not consent to my amendment. My counsel kept suggesting I sign the release that specifically stated my religious freed was not infringed, I have no mental health disability claim, I was not bullied & harassed at my workplace. I asked to schedule my file for examinations. Counsel said the defense would not agree to an examinations date.Earlier this year, more than two years from the failed mediation meeting, I told my counsel I would go to the court, ask the court to force my own counsel and the opposing counsel to agree to an examinations date. Suddenly, the defense agreed to a mediation date. Currently, my counsel and the opposing counsel cannot decide whether my file should be heard under the simplified procedure or the ordinary procedure; my file could not be set down for trial yet. This affects me in such a way that, after more than three years after my wrongful dismissal, I have not been paid what the employer owes me under common law.
I was given a few minutes during the failed mediation to decide if I would withdraw my application at the human rights tribunal, or my counsel would not move my file forward and I should get a new lawyer. My counsel is not clear about dates for next steps, 2-1/2 years after the failed mediation. He only seemed clear in saying I was abusing his time by my refusing to settle, sign the release.
The impact of my not settling, not signing the release with NDA, is that more than three years after my wrongful dismissal (with 20 years of uninterrupted work for one and the same employer), I have not been paid what I'm owed under common law. I continue to be told that I have no valid claim for religious accommodation because I did not ask for such accommodation. I was told the company did not believe me and my doctor that I have need for mental health injury accommodation, because I was not under medication and not being seen by a psychiatrist
I told my counsel that I would be violating my conscience and will be telling a lie if I sign the release (with NDA) indicating that my right to religious freedom/Saturday weekly church day was not infringed, I had no mental health disability claim, and I was not bullied and harassed. When I finally was able to see a psychiatrist, only after I was terminated already, the psychiatrist said my condition was caused by the bullying and harassment that I experienced at the workplace. I asked my counsel if my employer breached it's duty to deal with me in good faith, if my dismissal was done in bad faith. Counsel said nothing changes their advice that I settle, not go to trial. This probably explains why after three years, my file still could not be set down for trial.
If I signed the release/NDA, my conscience will bother me for the rest of my life. To me, it would mean that I have failed to practice what I'd been taught and learned in 50 years of church regular attendance, when the rubber hit the road, I signed a false statement just to receive a little money from my former employer, and not hold to account the individual managers who bullied and harassed me, caused my mental health injury, disbelieved me and my doctor, and when I was about to be transferred out of my toxic workplace, they terminated me.