Canadian Employment Law Today

February 4, 2015

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 February 4, 2015 Maintenance worker fi red for smoking marijuana at school No one saw worker smoking but he was the only one in room where drug was detected By JEFFrEy r. SmiTh An ArBiTrATOr has upheld a Manitoba worker's dismissal for smoking marijuana on the job, despite the fact the worker was not actually seen using the drug. e worker, Mark Panagabko, worked in the maintenance department for the Flin Flon, Man., school division with seven years of service. He and other employees were made aware of the school district's zero-tol- erance code of conduct that stated certain behaviour — including using, possessing, or being under the infl uence of alcohol or illicit drugs —wouldn't be tolerated. On the morning of Dec. 17, 2013, two other maintenance workers arrived at a Flin Flon school to do some repairs and set up for a Christmas event. ey encountered Pan- agabko a couple of times over the course of the morning and had short chats with him. Late in the morning, the two workers went into the boiler room to check the pumps and pressure on the boilers. ere was a strong smell in the room which they identifi ed as marijuana. Both had been around marijuana before and recognized it end of the line for insubordinate worker pg. 3 Employee claimed dismissal was related to union work with Brian Johnston Fired employee didn't secure guaranteed term of employment: Court THE OnTAriO Superior Court of Justice has struck down an employee's claim his contract was guaranteed for fi ve years af- ter the employee was dismissed after eight months of work. Razmig Tossonian worked as a salesper- son at a jewelry store in Vancouver when he starting talking to the owner of a Toronto jewelry store in 2008. ey negotiated a compensation package if Tossonian came to work at the jeweller's new store, Symphony Diamonds, in Toronto, but Tossonian's wife became pregnant and a move to Toronto wasn't possible at that time. Tossonian and the jeweller met again three years later in July 2011. ey discussed the terms under which Tossonian would be employed, including what Tossonian de- scribed as a guarantee of at least a fi ve-year term of employment. On July 15, the jewel- ler made an off er of employment to Tosso- nian, which Tossonian accepted. A few days later, the jeweller sent Tosso- nian an email outlining the compensation package for the job. e email was missing the fi ve-year guarantee, so Tossonian called the jeweller, who according to Tossonian said " at's not a problem. I will guarantee you." Tossonian moved to Toronto and started working at Symphony Diamonds on Aug. 29. He received a written employment con- tract on Sept. 9 that didn't include the guar- antee, but Tossonian signed it. A month lat- er, the jeweller gave Tossonian a statement of employment to help Tossonian secure a mortgage. is document said Tossonian had a "guaranteed fi ve year position con- tract with Symphony Diamonds." e jeweller promised Tossonian they would draw up a formal contract, but he asked Tossonian to write it up as he wasn't good at contracts. Tossonian wrote the con- tract based on their conversations in July, in- cluding a statement that the company guar- anteed his position for a term of fi ve years. Both signed the contract. A little later, the jeweller received a tele- phone call related to Tossonian's mortgage cRedit: StePhen oRSiLLo/ShutteRStock School board ordered to reinstate teacher acquitted of sexual assault charges pg. 4 School board had felt there was enough evidence of inappropriate behaviour WorKer'S Story on page 6 » JeWeller on page 7 » aSK aN eXPert pg. 2 Forcing employees to use vacation days

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