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.
No doubt you’ve heard that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In the world of electronic funds transfers, this maxim holds doubly true. It applies to security systems and the networks they run on (including the Internet) as well as the users of those systems and networks. A security system can only defend a network if it offers sufficient coverage and controls. Absent such controls, users can, intentionally or accidentally, access, change or steal data that they are not authorized to see.
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