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.
I recently read an Alberta case where a financial consultant, a top performer, was terminated without notice. The court found he was wrongfully dismissed and terminated in an insensitive manner; this error in judgment cost the employer $2.2 million in damages.
Clearly, if a court finds that one party has been dishonest, it will have serious negative repercussions with respect to their chances of success. It can also result in a cost award against them. The question for today, however, is whether it is appropriate to also find parties who lie during the litigation process in contempt, and if so, what the appropriate penalty should be.