Just for Laughs must rehire an archivist fired by the new government but signed to a “lifetime” contract by ex-comedy tycoon Gilbert Rozon.
” [Rozon] essentially based on the fact that he had not personally committed himself to the ex-employee, but on behalf of him [de Juste pour rire] at the time of committing to a life contract,” we can read in a decision made by Judge Marc St-Pierre at the Montreal courthouse this week.
So the “spirit of humor” André Gloutnay can begin classifying and archiving the thousands of comedy shows being performed around the world, as he has been doing since 1993.
By that time he had been hired by Gilbert Rozon himself. His work was so appreciated that in 2004 he signed a “for life” contract with the group Just for Laughs.
“Although he is not seen publicly, his involvement was essential as one of the pillars of the company,” Mr. Glouthnay said in a court document, citing a Just for Laughs biography.
released in 2019
Things changed quickly in 2017 after Gilbert Rozon was accused of sexual misconduct. Amid the scandal, the ousted humor magnate sold his stake in the group he founded, and the new government was not positive about the terms of that deal.
In 2019, Mr Gloutnay was sacked, which caused him considerable concern. So he filed a civil lawsuit against Just for Laughs. At the same time he was looking for a new job.
“He submitted many applications to companies in the business world and even offered a potential employer a change […] in another city,” says the verdict.
In the meantime, Just for Laughs has advertised several vacancies which would have been of interest to Mr Gloutnay but which he was denied access to.
The court will have ruled definitively in favor of Mr Gloutnay, who will return to his job and receive the salary lost since his sacking. He will also be awarded an additional $20,000 in damages, the judge ordered.
“The President in office at the time of termination has since been replaced and the two senior managers have been consulted in making the decision [à l’époque] obviously have no animosity towards him,” added the judge, who wanted to ensure the archivist’s reinstatement went smoothly.