Skip to Content

Incompetence

Focus on progressive discipline

I have been meaning for several weeks now to draw attention to the February 2011 edition of the Labour and Employment Law Perspective, the Canadian Bar Association National Labour and Employment Law Section Newsletter.

The focus of the excellant February issue was progressive discipline and it contained the following articles (with the summaries taken directly from the newsletter):

Compensation in lieu of reinstatement: A deviation from DeHavilland

By Andrew Zabrovsky

In an interesting supplementary decision following an award granting compensation in lieu of reinstatement, an Ontario arbitrator strongly repudiated several of the well accepted and long propagated concepts which have been applied to this remedy.  read more »

"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

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal overturns trial judge, allows dismissal for just cause based on incompetence

Jurisdiction: - Saskatchewan
Sector: - Media

In Radio CJVR Ltd. v. Schutte, 2009 SKCA 92, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, in  overturning the trial judge's decision, ruled that the employer had just cause to dismiss an employee who was the program director, music director and on-air morning show co-host for a newly formatted AM station.

In doing so, the court recited the test that will be applied when assessing whether an employer had just cause to dismiss an employee based on incompetence:

  1. the employer must provide reasonable objective standards of performance for the employee in a clear and understandable manner; 
  2. the employee must have failed to meet the employer's reasonable standard of performance;
  3. the employer must give the employee a clear and unequivocal warning that she or he has failed to meet the requisite standard, including particulars of the specific deficiency relied on by the employer; and
  4. the warning must clearly indicate that the employee will be dismissed if he or she fails to meet the requisite standard within a reasonable time.

‚ÄúTermination for Incompetence‚ÄĚ

Janice Payne and Shane Sawyer, at Ontario firm Nelligan O'Brien Payne, have written a paper entitled "Termination for Incompetence" (April 1, 2004). The paper addresses the following topics:  read more »