Canadian Employment Law Today

February 18, 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 18, 2015 CPr worker's angry phone calls not just cause for dismissal Worker's conduct was 'inappropriate an unprofessional' but not reason for dismissal; worker's lack of co-operation with investigation worsened appropriate discipline By JEffREy R. SMiTh an arBiTraTor has ordered the re- instatement of a Canadian Pacifi c Railway (CPR) worker who was fi red for harassing and verbally abusing other CPR employees. e 43-year-old worker began his em- ployment with CPR in 1996 and at one point during his time served as a local chairperson for the union. He had a clean disciplinary re- cord, but suff ered from anxiety for which he sought medical care from his family doctor and a psychologist. On Oct. 1, 2013, the worker contacted CPR's employee relations department and fi led a harassment complaint against his supervisor. He accused the supervisor of speaking to him inappropriately before hanging up on him. e worker also fi led a claim for benefi ts from CPR's insurance provider, Manulife, as he was off work at the time for medical rea- sons. e claim wasn't approved, so on Oct. 24 he called an employee relations advisor to complain. e worker said the denial of benefi ts constituted harassment by CPR. During the call, the worker asked about his earlier complaint and if the advisor had listened to the audiotapes of his telephone conversation with his supervisor. e advi- sor said she hadn't had an opportunity to review the tapes. is caused the worker to raise his voice and swear at her while de- manding his benefi ts be approved. e next day – Oct. 25 – the worker called a Manulife case manager to complain about the status of his benefi ts claim. Afterwards, the case manager sent CPR an email com- plaining about the worker's phone calls, al- leging the worker screamed at her and de- manded she forward to him all emails from CPR relating to his claim. e case manager said she hung up the phone on him. On Oct. 28, the employee rela- employer changes mind about changing working hours pg. 3 Employer backtracked on changing worker's hours with Tim Mitchell dropping hints not clear notice of dismissal: Court a nova sCoTia company's warning that a part-time worker should look for more work didn't constitute notice of a dismissal that happened six weeks later, the Nova Sco- tia Small Claims Court has ruled. Perry Costa, 54, was an AutoCAD op- erator and electrical layout technician for Electec Engineering and Design Incorpo- rated, a professional engineering company in Lower Sackville, N.S. Costa was hired in December 2006 and he didn't have any is- sues with his performance or any miscon- duct. His job involved implementing light- ing and electrical design into architectural and drafting designs created in AutoCAD, a computer-assisted drawing program. In October 2013, Electec informed Cos- ta that business was slow and there was a lack of work for him. However, instead of terminating his employment, the company put him on a work share program in which he and another technician would share the work. Costa was to work two days per week and the remaining three days would be paid by Service Canada at 55 per cent of his regular pay. e company advised him this arrangement was expected to last about six months, but it was possible it could be credit: skYLiNes/shutterstock employer puts end to union representative's harassment pg. 4 Union unsuccessfully tried to stop worker's intimidation and harassment internally WoRKeR on page 6 » no notiCe on page 7 » asK an exPeRt pg. 2 Implementing a tracking system for employees

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