Sleep much? Board finds that dozing off on the job is not willful misconduct

April 24, 2016 - by: Avneet Jaswal 0 COMMENTS

by Avneet Jaswal

Can an employer terminate an employee for sleeping on the job on multiple occasions? The Ontario Labour Relations Board concluded that such behavior may give rise to just cause for dismissal. Can sleeping on the job amount to “willful misconduct” eliminating the employer’s obligation to pay statutory notice and severance amounts? Well, that depends. read more…

Quebec court upholds cause termination of employee for a single incident of theft

April 17, 2016 - by: Marie-Eve Gagnon 0 COMMENTS

by Marie-Ève Gagnon

Theft of merchandise by employees continues to be a recurring and costly problem for Canadian employers. The courts, however, do acknowledge the seriousness of the issue. Dismissal is often found to be an appropriate disciplinary response regardless of the value of the items stolen or whether the theft is repeated—unless mitigating factors are present that would justify a lesser penalty. read more…

Last chance to draft your last chance agreement

March 13, 2016 - by: Mohamed Badreddine 0 COMMENTS

by Mohamed Badreddine

Last chance agreements—what are they? How do they work? As we have indicated before, an employer and employee agree that the employee may remain employed provided that he or she complies with specific conditions. If the employee later breaches the conditions, he or she is immediately dismissed. read more…

Zero tolerance for stalking on company time

August 30, 2015 - by: Chuck Harrison 0 COMMENTS

by Chuck Harrison

A single incident of misconduct can still justify the termination of a unionized employee’s employment. So ruled a labor arbitrator in British Columbia recently. In Fortis Energy Inc., (February 16, 2015) the employee had engaged in an incident of stalking and intimidation of his wife’s supervisor. Compounding his offense, he did this during his working hours and while driving his employer’s vehicle.

After the company fired the employee, his union filed a grievance. While conceding that the incident was deserving of serious discipline, the union argued that the grievor should not have been fired. His long service and his confession with respect to the incident should allow him to preserve his employment. read more…

Do you suspect your employees are sleeping at work? Quebec arbitrator holds you have the right to film them

July 19, 2015 - by: Karine Fournier 0 COMMENTS

by Karine Fournier

In Quebec, in Unifor Québec et Moulage sous pression AMT inc., a grievance arbitrator confirmed that the employer had the right to temporarily film certain areas of the workplace when there had been several reports that employees were sleeping during the night shift. read more…

Occupational health and safety due diligence defense alive and well

June 21, 2015 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

by Rosalind H. Cooper

A recent case involving charges against a company under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act has confirmed that the defense of due diligence is alive and well. The defense of due diligence—which may allow employers to avoid a conviction under occupational health and safety legislation—can be difficult to establish. Even in cases where a worker is injured as a result of his or her own misconduct, the defense cannot always be made out. But in the right factual circumstances, it is still possible to successfully advance the due diligence defense notwithstanding the high standard applied. read more…

The case for cause with a single act of employee misconduct

May 03, 2015 - by: Keri Bennett 0 COMMENTS

by Keri Bennett

The Supreme Court of Canada tells Canadian employers that they must strike a balance between the severity of the misconduct and the sanction imposed when deciding whether to terminate employment for cause. So what happens when the misconduct is a single act? Can that justify termination for cause? According to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Steel v. Coast Capital Savings Credit Union, the answer is yes. read more…

Dishonesty: When can you fire someone for it?

February 01, 2015 - by: Lindsey Taylor 0 COMMENTS

by Lindsey Taylor

The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently reaffirmed that dishonest conduct may be just cause for dismissal without notice. Or it may not. To determine if it is just cause, the conduct must be assessed looking at the whole context of the employment relationship. read more…

A face for radio? Employment law lessons from the Jian Ghomeshi scandal

December 07, 2014 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 1 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

Over the last month, the Canadian news media has devoted significant time to covering the Jian Ghomeshi scandal. Aside from the celebrity gossip factor, the story has had such staying power because it touches on so many controversial issues—BDSM (Bondage & Discipline / Domination & Submission / Sadism & Masochism), sexual consent, victim credibility, privacy concerns, power politics, criminal charges—the list is long. In addition (and more importantly for employers) the Ghomeshi story began as a story about the end of an employee’s employment. read more…

Disloyal conduct may justify termination

August 31, 2014 - by: Mohamed Badreddine 0 COMMENTS

by Mohamed Badreddine

There is little dispute that senior employees owe a duty of good faith and loyalty to their employers. But what about junior employees—do they owe their employers the same duty? And if so, can they be fired if they violate that duty? Depending on the situation, the answer may be yes—at least in Quebec. read more…

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