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

December 07, 2014 0 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 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…

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

July 27, 2014 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…

BC addresses whether privacy rights include right to remain anonymous

July 13, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Chuck Harrison

In a recent Canadian case, the British Columbia Labour Relations Board addressed whether privacy rights entitle an employee disciplined for serious misconduct to remain anonymous in an arbitration award. read more…

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

June 01, 2014 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…

Limiting an arbitrator’s jurisdiction to modify last chance agreements

May 04, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Mohamed Badreddine

Last chance agreements are a tool commonly used by workplace parties in Canada to give an employee accused of serious or repeated misconduct one last chance to keep his or her job. These agreements are sometimes used to manage an employee’s absenteeism, poor job performance, or drug or alcohol addiction. They may also be used to manage more serious employee misconduct such as insubordination, fighting, or harassment in the workplace. read more…

Terminating employees for cause: lessons from the Canadian healthcare sector

January 05, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Ian Campbell

It seems to be increasingly difficult to justify terminations for cause—even when an employee is found to have engaged in serious misconduct. read more…

Breaching duties and cashing checks: An employee’s entitlement to bonuses after termination

October 14, 2012 0 COMMENTS

by Marisa Victor and Christopher Copeland

Can a Canadian employee who is fired for cause sue for outstanding bonuses? What about if those bonuses relate to the period of the employee’s wrongdoing? This was the issue in Mady Development Corp. v. Rossetto, when a terminated executive sought to claim his bonuses for a period when he was found to be misappropriating company resources.

Facts

Leonard Rossetto was employed as an executive with a group of corporations (Mady). In fall 2007, he diverted labor, materials, and funds from Mady to renovate his house. He was fired on December 12, 2008, when Mady discovered his wrongdoing. Mady then sued him to recover the misappropriated corporate funds and resources. Rossetto counterclaimed for his bonuses for 2007 and 2008. Pursuant to his employment contract, he was entitled to an annual bonus equal to 30 percent of Mady’s profits after overhead. The parties ultimately submitted their dispute to arbitration. read more…

When what’s good for business isn’t good employment law: What warrants termination for cause?

September 30, 2012 0 COMMENTS

by Kyla Stott-Jess

Is a Canadian employer justified in terminating an employee for cause when that employee has disobeyed company policy? What if the consequences of the employee’s failure to follow policy put other employees at serious risk of harm? Not necessarily, said the Ontario Supreme Court recently in Barton v. Rona Ontario Inc.

Rather, the potential severity of any misconduct must be balanced against the employee’s attitude and past history when evaluating whether termination for cause is warranted.

Background

Kerry Barton was a longtime employee of Rona until the company fired him for cause in 2009. At the time of termination, Barton was the assistant store manager in Barrie, Ontario, and was responsible for managing about 140 employees. He had received good performance appraisals and had no disciplinary record. read more…