Former Folk on the Rocks executive director David Whitelock threatens lawsuit
In news release, Whitelock says he intends 'to pursue all legal avenues' to recoup wages, bonuses
The former executive director of popular Yellowknife music festival Folk on the Rocks has announced that he intends to "pursue all legal avenues" in an attempt to recoup owed salary and bonuses, after he says he was wrongful dismissed from his post late last year.
In a news release issued Dec. 29, the festival's board of directors announced the departure of David Whitelock. Whitelock, who is originally from the U.K., moved to Yellowknife in the spring of 2014 to take up the post as the festival's executive director.
At the time, Ryan Fequet, the president of Folk on the Rocks, would not elaborate on why Whitelock was leaving.
In a news release issued Jan. 17, Whitelock said that he was served with a termination notice that "purported to terminate [his] employment for cause.
"Certain of the grounds set out in the letter are fictitious," Whitelock said in the release. "Others lack any type of detail. Others were presented to me without affording me either an opportunity to correct or to respond."
Whitelock, who declined further comment to CBC, also stated in the release that at the time of his termination, he had not been paid his salary for December 2015, holiday pay for 2014 and 2015, and a bonus specified in his contract for 2014 and 2015 "equal to 20 per cent of any general purpose income that is generated in excess of any cash income for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013, to a maximum of $20,000 per year."
In addition, Whitelock says that he is entitled to be paid until the end of his three-year contract of employment, which is in January 2017. Whitelock also says the behaviour of the festival board constitutes wrongful dismissal.
"It is also, in my opinion, a breach of the Employment Standards Act, and the Human Rights Act," the release reads. "I intend to pursue all legal avenues open to me with respect both to monies owed to me up to the time of my termination, and damages as a result of the conduct of Folk on the Rocks."
CBC North left a message with Fequet late Monday afternoon requesting comment from Folk on the Rocks, but has not yet heard back.