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Dismissal

Dial “D” for dismissal: Employee fired after “pocket-dial”

Most people have received (or sent) a “pocket-dial”, which is an unintentional cell phone call that is made by a phone when it is in a person’s pocket. In a recent decision from Alberta, an employee’s pocket-dial revealed that he was performing work for his own personal business on company time, leading to his dismissal for cause.

 

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No “give and take” required by employee in accommodation under the Human Rights Code

The applicant, Michele Macan, filed a human rights application alleging discrimination with respect to employment due to disability. The respondent, Stongco Limited Partnership, rejected the allegations, instead submitting that the applicant’s disability was “not a reason, a factor, or even considered in its decision to terminate the applicant”.[1] The respondent alleged that her termination was […]

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with changes to police record check; non-discriminatory explanation for firing; and ROE Web formats.

 

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Common traps that many Ontario employers fall into in the course of termination

This post is focused on common traps that many employers fall into in the course of termination. While it is written from the perspective of employers, each of these points applies equally to employees, since an individual that misunderstands these issues will fail to enforce their legal rights and end up leaving substantial amounts of money on the table when they lose their job.

 

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Crime at work: The sometimes criminal consequences of workplace misconduct

Misconduct at work is typically met with discipline or, if particularly bad, perhaps dismissal. There are occasions, however, where employee misconduct will also merit criminal charges.

 

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Punitive damages: Court of Appeal of Quebec reduces damages payable by an employer following a constructive dismissal

On July 7, 2014, the majority of the Quebec Court of Appeal allowed an appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court that had ordered the employer to pay an amount of $1,086,767 due to a constructive dismissal, to reduce the amount of the damages awarded to $709,488.

 

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Knowing your limitation periods under the Human Rights Code

The Human Rights Code allows for a person who believes that their rights under the “Code” have been infringed upon to file an application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The “Code” states that the application must be made within one year after the incident, or if there were a series of incidents, within one year after the last incident in the series. But what happens when a person files an application outside of the limitation period?

 

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Employee misconduct: Is it cause for dismissal?

A recent case from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice serves as a good reminder to employers that there is a high standard to dismiss an employee for cause, particularly if the employee has a good performance record and long service.

 

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What’s cause got to do with it?

At times, employers despair at the perceived narrowing of the requirements of just cause for termination. With many adjudicators focused on progressive discipline, summarily dismissing an employee, even for serious misconduct, requires caution and often a well-researched legal opinion.

 

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Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada: Ontario Court of Appeal rocks the wrongful dismissal world

On May 22, 2014 the Ontario Court of Appeal (OCA) released the Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada decision. It could rock the wrongful dismissal world.

 

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Better the devil you know? employee’s obligation to accept an alternate position

Ever since the Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2008 in a case Evans v. Teamsters Local Union, the courts have recognized the obligation of an employee, in certain circumstances, to accept an offer of alternate employment from their employer following dismissal. This has put many employees in the awkward position of determining whether or not the offer of employment is one that must be accepted based on the Evans’ reasoning. The difficulty faced by many employees’ counsel is the degree of difference in the position being offered, and whether such difference justifies the employee rejecting the offer of employment.

 

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Contracting out of the Ontario Employment Standards Act

The Employment Standards Act in Ontario is legislation designed to protect the rights of all workers in the province. Under section 3, the Act specifies that it applied to any employee in the Province of Ontario, or any employee who is performing work outside of Ontario that is “…continuance of work performed in Ontario.” The Act contains numerous protections for Ontario employees, such as limiting the maximum hours of work in a week, providing an entitlement to overtime pay, and creating entitlements such as parental leave, vacation and personal leave. The Act also provides for the employee’s rights in the event of a termination of employment. Many employers have perceived these entitlements as onerous in some circumstances. In order to attempt to avoid such payments, or other obligations under the Act, employers have sought to have employees sign contracts containing provisions which purport to surrender the employee’s rights under the Act. This is generally referred to as “contracting out”.

 

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Preventing an employee from working during working notice can be constructive dismissal

In Allen v Ainsworth Lumber Co Ltd, 2013 BCCA 271, the British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld a lower court decision which held that an employer’s refusal to allow an employee to work during a purported “working notice” period constituted constructive dismissal.

 

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Employer’s unreasonable increase in duties and poor response to employee concerns constitutes constructive dismissal

Often constructive dismissal cases involving a change in duties arise from an employer’s unilateral reduction in an employee’s duties. However, Damaso v PSI Peripheral Solutions Inc, is just the opposite. An employee alleged that an employer’s unilateral increase in his duties resulted in his constructive dismissal.

 

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Jurisdictional disputes in employment contracts

In this electronic age, many employers will make offers of employment via email. When the offer is being made to an individual in another province or country, an issue may arise as to what jurisdiction will govern when a dispute arises.

 

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