The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with dishonesty as cause for employee termination, the new CSA national OHS training standard and how ongoing tardiness and breach of trust justified termination for cause
The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with the court calling into question the termination without notice of a probationary employee, how the law around references is changing and how a mistake in a contract led to constructive dismissal.
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.
Even in the absence of a release, employee who accepted a termination package not entitled to additional damages
If an employee negotiates a termination package with an employer but does not sign a release, can they successfully claim additional pay in lieu of notice in a court action? Interestingly, the Ontario Superior Court recently held that the answer for one employee in these circumstances was “no”.
This recent case provides a timely reminder for employers, employees, and their counsel that despite the requirements in a criminal prosecution, an employer does not have to prove allegations of misconduct “beyond a reasonable doubt” in the content of a wrongful dismissal claim.
It seems that employers must continually learn that it is crucial to have clear written policies in place governing employee conduct and discipline, and to apply those policies consistently. An Alberta Employment Standards Umpire recently heard a case that reiterates the simple lesson.
The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with EI parental benefits for a twin birth, another federal court ruling on discrimination regarding childcare obligations and how an employer responded to online harassment of management.
Perhaps because of the increased press directed to union conflicts, or perhaps due solely to a misunderstanding of the employment relationship, many HR professionals perceive that they have the right to suspend an employee based on some perceived or actual misconduct by that employee. However, while most union contracts do provide the right of suspension to the employer, there is no similar right available at common law.
The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with psychological health and safety, a wrongful dismissal claim that applied ‘rule of thumb’ principal and a court ruling about a workplace accident because employee failed to follow instructions.
I am frequently asked by employer clients to describe what type of conduct by an employee will be held by the courts to qualify as cause for dismissal. Employers are often frustrated by the answer they receive – that it seems that nothing less than stealing money from the company will suffice. In the case of long time employees without prior instances of misconduct, theft may still be insufficient. A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court has fortunately clarified the circumstances in which courts will find cause for dismissal as a result of dishonesty. What is striking about the decision is the reliance of the judge on a seemingly insignificant act committed by a nineteen year employee.
In AMEC Americas Limited v. MacWilliams, 2012 NBCA 46, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal held that an employer’s defence that an employee failed to mitigate his damages by refusing to accept its settlement offers had no merit. As leave to appeal the decision was recently refused by the Supreme Court of Canada, the current answer to our question (at least in New Brunswick) is “no”.