Canadian Employment Law Today

March 1, 2017

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 March 1, 2017 Employee theft not proven Inconsistent system for handling money at school not a basis to pin missing funds on employee: Arbitrator BY JEFFREY R. SMITH A MANITOBA employer didn't have suffi cient proof to justify fi ring an employee for theft of money that went missing under her care, an arbitrator has ruled. Christine Dwyer was head secretary at a small Winnipeg school under the admin- istration of the Winnipeg School Division. Her duties included a number of administra- tive tasks in the school offi ce. She had some diffi culties in her position at fi rst, but she kept meticulous notes and worked with her boss, the district business administrator, to improve. Dwyer received a positive perfor- mance assessment in March 2011. At the beginning of the school year, the school normally collects student fees for fi eld trips and supplies. An educational assistant and a teacher collect the money in the gym- nasium before the start of classes and take it to the offi ce, where the head secretary checks the names off of a list and counts the money. e list is then used to create class lists for each teacher that indicates which students CREDIT: MATTIA MENESTRINA/SHUTTERSTOCK Constructive dismissal — What would a reasonable person think? pg. 3 Changes by employer must be more than 'less-than-ideal' Arbitrator extinguishes fi ring for inappropriate comments pg. 4 Firefi ghter denied threatening rape and evidence showed comments were part of joking common among fi refi ghters ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 Employees required to take laptops home Seasonal leave requests lead to position change A NORTHERN Canadian company did not constructively dismiss an employee when it removed him from a full-time position and off ered him a contract position in response to the employee's request to go on leave and work elsewhere for part of the year, an adjudicator has ruled. Trans North Turbo Air provides char- tered helicopter service throughout the Yu- kon and Northwestern Canada and is based in Whitehorse. Most of the company's busi- ness takes place between April and Septem- ber. Helicopter pilot Dion Parker was hired by Trans North in April 2010 to be the base manager at the company's base in Dawson City, YT. Base manager duties included as- signing pilot duties, overseeing maintenance and administrative matters, performing oc- casional rescue work and arranging con- tracts during the slower winter season. Parker became base manager at another base in 2012, but didn't like it. In October 2012 he informed the company he and his wife had purchased a home between bases in Whitehorse and Haines Junction. Trans North said it considered the move an aban- donment of his position, but it off ered him a line pilot position out of Whitehorse. Soon after, Parker was approved for a leave to work for a fl ight training company out of the province so he could maintain his instructor rating. He returned Dec. 1. In April 2013, Parker accepted an off er from Trans North to be the base manager at Haines Junction for the summer season. Because Parker was paying a mortgage on his home, the company agreed to subsidize the costs of living in the base manager's resi- dence. at fall, Parker decided to rent out his home and move to the base full-time. Trans North appointed him full-time base manager at Haines Junction with rent-free accommodation. One week after moving full-time to Haines Junction, Parker requested a three- month leave to visit family in New Zealand. It caused some diffi culty but the company granted a two-month leave with the expec- tation Parker would return in January 2014. Soon after Parker left, Trans North learned he was working for a New Zealand-based company in Asia. Parker told the company it MONEY on page 6 » PILOT on page 7 »

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