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.
A wrongful dismissal lawsuit can be a potential nightmare for companies no matter what size. Lawsuits carry with them complex claims that are often convoluted and difficult to understand for the non-legal specialist. This blog post will offer a brief overview of the parameters of some of the damages which can be claimed within the context of a wrongful dismissal lawsuit.
The case of Olivares v. Canac Kitchens (another in the long list of wrongful dismissal accounts against Canac Kitchens) arose from the termination of a 24-year employee. The employee was an uneducated shipping supervisor with poor English, who oversaw a team of loaders and coordinators. His salary was approximately $93,000, including overtime pay and benefits. He spent his entire Canadian working life with the company, communicating almost exclusively in Spanish. In May 2008, Canac Kitchens ceased its manufacturing operations and, as a result, Olivares was left looking for work...
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