While some off-duty conduct can justify discipline and even dismissal, the recent case of Hydro One Inc. and Power Workers’ Union Union (HO-T-3737) confirms that the threshold for summary dismissal is high, and that even driving a company car while off-duty and drunk may not be enough. The decision also confirmed the importance of considering all mitigating factors, including addiction.
If you are an employer or an employee, you have probably heard that the general rule of thumb when it comes to entitlement to notice upon termination is one month per year of service. Is that really true? What does the law have to say?
In the recent case of Unifor, Local 2215 and I.M.P. Group Ltd. (AB), Re, a Nova Scotia Arbitrator upheld the termination of an employee for cause and confirmed that progressive discipline is not “an invariable rule that must be followed in all cases regardless of the circumstances.”
The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released a decision confirming that courts will not be fooled by different corporate structures when an employee has, in reality, been employed with the same employer for years.
Losing a job is nerve-wrecking for most people. Employees must be careful, however, because they have a duty to mitigate their damages by taking reasonable steps to find comparable employment. Otherwise, their entitlement to damages for wrongful dismissal may be substantially reduced.
While being terminated from one’s employment can undoubtedly lead to emotional upset, the law does not recognize mental states that fall short of injury.
This case is another in a long list of cautionary tales where employers have been penalized for acting hastily and failing to conduct an investigation before dismissing an employee for alleged misconduct.
Employees: do not confuse the change in criminal laws with any change at work; they are two very different concepts and showing up high at work could cost you your job.
Not every breach of an employment contract permits an employer to terminate the contract and dismiss the employee without notice. That is particularly true where the breach relates, effectively, to performance.
Employers cannot discriminate based on sex or gender, and so they should be implementing policies that are balanced and in line with current best practices.