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"Terminating Employees for Cause: A Review of Recent Cases on Just Cause"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

"Terminating Employees for Cause: A Review of Recent Cases on Just Cause" is the title of a paper prepared by Michael R. Howcroft.

The paper was prepared for the Employment Law Conference (Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia) in May 2010. Mr. Howcroft is a lawyer at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, in Vancouver, BC,

The paper addresses the following topics:

  • Dishonesty
  • Dishonesty During Investigation

"Employee Improprieties – Avoiding Disaster When Dealing With the Dishonest Employee"

Ontario lawyer Howard A. Levitt, at Lang Michener LLP, has written a paper entitled, "Employee Improprieties - Avoiding Disaster When Dealing With the Dishonest Employee" (May 2010).

He presented the paper at the ACFI 12th Annual Fraud Conference and Workshop in Toronto on May 3, 2010. The paper's introduction states: 

This paper will attempt to identify what kind of dishonest conduct amounts to just cause for dismissal, and provide the employer with effective strategies for identifying, investigating and ultimately removing dishonest employees from the workplace, without exposing itself to liability. 

Contextual factors to consider when assessing whether employer has just cause to dismiss an employee

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

A new test for dismissing an employee for just cause was established by the Supreme Court of Canada in McKinley v B.C Tel, 2001 SCC 38. In that case the Court stated that, among other things, employers must undertake a contextual analysis of ths misconduct.

In a recent case - Corso v. Nebs Business Products Limited, [2009] O.J. No. 1092
(Ont.S.C.J.)  - the Ontario Superior Court set out a useful checklist of the contextual factors that should be considered.

The case concerned the dismissal of an employee who, in the face of a detailed Conflict of Interest policy, covertly developed a computer program product that would be detrimental to the employer's core business.

The checklist is as follows:  read more »

Sexual harassment at Christmas party and dishonesty during investigation lead to senior employee's dismissal

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The plaintiff's employment with Marriot Hotels of Canada Ltd. was terminated for cause on February 1, 2007. He was 46 years old, had been employed by the hotel for 22 years and held the position of Director of Sales and Marketing.

Prior to the incidents in question, the plaintiff's employment record was free of any discipline.

The defendant hotel alleged cause for dismissal based on the fact that the plaintiff:

  • Was a senior manager with responsibilities for supervising the company holiday party, permitted the excessive consumption of alcohol, engaged in sexually suggestive dancing, and condoned an "after-party" where Marriott employees drank heavily;
  • Engaged in inappropriate sexual touching with a female subordinate in the bathroom at the after-party; and
  • Was dishonest when he denied the sexual touching allegation during the defendant's investigation of his misconduct.

Distribution of drink tickets, alcohol consumption and suggestive dancing

In relation to these allegations, the court found that:  read more »