conduct and behaviour
Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench recently confirmed that a termination for cause was inappropriate, given that it was not proportional to the employee’s conduct. As a result, the employer had to pay 12 months’ severance as set out in the employment agreement regarding a termination without cause.
The question for Steve in this workplace scenario is: did you know your actions were unwelcome at the time of the occurrence?
On March 22, 2011, the Ontario Court of Appeal rendered a significant judgment concerning the protection of privacy in the workplace. Specifically, the Court determined that an employee had an expectation of privacy when using a laptop made available by the employer on which he was allowed to retain personal information.
If you’re like most nine-to-five workers, you probably feel a bit slow sometime after lunch. Maybe you reach for another cup of coffee or tea. Maybe you grab some fresh air, a piece of fruit or something sweet and sugary to get you through. But in many cases what you really want is to place your head on your desk and close your eyes for a few minutes. Of course you can’t though—what employer in its right mind would let you do that?
Employees can be dismissed for cause, and therefore without notice or severance, when their misconduct or performance is so egregious that the employment relationship has been irreparably harmed. In assessing this issue, employers must adopt a contextual approach, which considers not only the misconduct in question, but the entirety of the employment relationship.