Canadian Employment Law Today

November 23, 2016

Focuses on human resources law from a business perspective, featuring news and cases from the courts, in-depth articles on legal trends and insights from top employment lawyers across Canada.

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PM40065782 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad ad a ian www.employmentlawtoday.com November 23, 2016 27 consecutive one-year contracts makes teacher a permanent employee A SASKATCHEWAN employee whose fi xed-term contract wasn't renewed is enti- tled to severance pay befi tting a permanent employee — after 27 consecutive one-year contracts, an adjudicator has ruled. Kim Latoski was hired to be a teacher at Bernard Constant Community School in Melfort, Sask., by James Smith Cree Na- tion (JSCN) in August 1987. Latoski was hired with one-year contract for the school year. JSCN only gave its teachers one-year contracts because of budget uncertainty for each year, which was based on the number of students and government funding. JSCN off ered Latoski another one-year contract the following year, and her employ- ment continued for 27 consecutive years. Each year, JSCN would either off er Latoski a new contract, off er an extension to her ex- isting contract, or off er her a new teaching position. On a few occasions, JSCN didn't notify her of her new contract and both sides assumed things would continue as usual. Each year's contract was called "Employ- ment Contract — Teacher" or "Defi nite Term Contract — Teacher" and outlined the term of employment as running from late August to June 30 — the length of the school year. ey also indicated "the employer may, at its sole discretion, by notice in writing to the employee, off er the employee a further contract for an additional term or terms." A typical contract also contained a clause stating that if funding to the program was terminated or reduced, the contract would terminated with tone months' pay. Despite the fact she was on a series of one- year contracts, Latoski considered herself a permanent employee. Every year, teachers were evaluated and it was assumed a good evaluation meant contract renewal — and Latoski received positive evaluations. She initially lived in an apartment at JSCN — in Winners loses battle with absentee worker Company had enough of unsupported absences, but worker showed improvement after warning, despite missing documentation deadline BY JEFFREY R. SMITH AN ONTARIO worker who was fi red for failing to provide requested medical infor- mation to support numerous absences has been given another chance by an arbitrator. e worker was a forklift/swing reach driver at a Mississauga, Ont., distribution centre for Winners, the retail clothing com- pany. She was hired in 1991. Starting in 2010, the worker began having trouble with excessive absenteeism, missing 53 days of work that year. e following year her absences increased to 70 days, then 155 days in 2012 and 165 days in 2013. e worker attributed some of her many absences to a work injury that occurred in 2010, which resulted in ongoing pain in her back and sometimes her shoulder. She said the pain got so intense at times that she was unable to work. Worker's clean record deserves leniency pg. 3 60-day suspension for insubordination and inappropriate conduct reduced to 20 days CREDIT: PAIKONG/SHUTTERSTOCK Addicted worker can't keep afl oat pg. 4 Employer dismissed addict worker from safety sensitive job after years of treatment regimes and relapses ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 Waiting for medical documentation of absences INDEFINITE TERM on page 11 » WORKER'S on page 8 » with Natasha Zervoudakis

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