A small-town bank manager who had an affair with a subordinate—including sex in the bank, during and after hours—should not have been dismissed for cause, according to the Federal Court of Appeal. Nevertheless, given the circumstances, it was not appropriate to reinstate the employee to his job.
The three most popular HRinfodesk articles this week deal with 2013 EI rates, hypersensitivity to scent in the workplace and insurbordinate behaviour…
The three most viewed articles in this week HRinfodesk newsletter deals with assessing a probationary employee, dismissing an employee based on a serious misconduct and the upcoming workplace mental health standard…
The three most viewed articles in this week HRinfodesk newsletter deals with OHS reprisals, dismissal because employee issued threats, and WSIB benefits for employee assaulted at work…
The war is over (and you’re fired)! In the history of questionable dismissals of employees, the saga of journalist Edward Kennedy has to rank near the top of the list. Over 65 years after his firing, his former employer has apologized. (In PDF) Is excessive Internet use time theft? It is now common [...]
An employer decides to dismiss an employee without notice and without legal cause. Subsequent to the dismissal, in reviewing the employee’s work, the employer discovers a number of errors which, if known at the time, would have been sufficient to support a dismissal for cause. Can the employer successfully argue cause in defence of a wrongful dismissal claim? This is a question I have been asked many times by employers, as a review of a dismissed employee’s work after dismissal often reveals significant errors or, in some cases, outright dishonesty.
Employment lawyers are generally quite adept at negotiating and resolving disputes arising out of the termination of an individual’s employment. We have all seen the statistics that only a miniscule number of dismissals result in a full trial and we know that in almost every case, it is better for the parties to reach a resolution than to proceed with litigation. That said, many traps exist in the settlement of a wrongful dismissal claim.
Constructive dismissals are something that most employers are aware of, but many may not be aware that constructive dismissals are in fact very difficult cases for employees to win. This is illustrated by a recent case out of Nova Scotia, Gillis v. Sobeys Group Incorporated 2011 NSSC 443.
Probably the most prevalent misconception in the area of employment law is the notion that all employees are entitled to “one month per year” as notice of termination without cause. This has, in the past, been referred to as the golden rule. In spite of repeated judicial pronouncements that the rule no longer applies, human resources professionals continue to apply it.
As I and others have frequently commented, there is widespread confusion and misunderstanding regarding how our courts determine the amount of notice of dismissal (sometimes referred to as “severance”) an employee is entitled to. The recent decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench in Coppola v. Capital Pontiac Buick Cadillac GMC Ltd. provides a fairly thorough analysis.
“I am at a party on my day off and a coworker hurls racial insults at me or makes sexual suggestive comments to me.” Am I protected by my employer’s harassment and discrimination policy? Likewise, if I am the one doing the hurling or suggestive commenting, am I subject to discipline under my employer’s policies?
As we all know, in the late 1990’s the Supreme Court of Canada held that employers had a duty to act in good faith in the course of terminating the employment relationship. In Wallace v. United Grain Growers, our High Court found that the employer had breached that duty, and the majority held that the remedy for such a breach would be to extend the applicable notice period. Over the following decade, claims for “Wallace damages” became commonplace, to say the least. Unfortunately, many courts seemed more than willing to oblige plaintiffs, finding bad faith in all sorts of circumstances that, while not demonstrative of perfect practice in the course of dismissal, hardly seemed to indicate conduct taken in bad faith.