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…

Employers must have a reasonable basis for engaging in employee surveillance

August 17, 2014 - by: Clayton Jones 0 COMMENTS

By Clayton Jones

When confronted with information that an employee may be abusing paid sick leave, it is only natural for an employer to want to investigate further. One way in which employers may do this is through the surreptitious surveillance of the employee. However, such surveillance is of limited value unless the employer will be able to rely on the surveillance in a subsequent legal proceeding. read more…

Court upholds just-cause termination based on misconduct discovered post-termination

July 27, 2014 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

In a recent decision, a Canadian appellate-level court confirmed that employee misconduct discovered after a without-cause termination may be relied upon by an employer in support of a later argument of just cause for termination. read more…

‘But it was due to my addiction’—when is last-minute confession too late?

June 01, 2014 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

It is not uncommon for an employee to disclose an addiction only when being terminated for misconduct that may be related to the employee’s substance abuse. The employee then tries to trigger human rights protections due to his or her “disability.” A recent Alberta court decision, Bish v. Elk Valley Coal Corporation, provides a good example of when such a claim may simply be too little, too late, even under Canada’s protective human rights laws. read more…

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