Canadian Employment Law Today

July 22, 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 July 22, 2015 Stay in school – at least during an educational leave Employee took educational leave but had surgery and ended up working another job instead – without telling employer BY JEFFREY R. SMITH A BRITISH COLUMBIA employer had just cause to fi re an employee who ended up working for another employer rather than attending school during an educational leave, an arbitrator has ruled. Geoff Cahoon was a general clerk at a Safeway store in Castlegar, B.C., hired in 1980. Safeway, owned by Sobey's, operated grocery stores throughout British Columbia. Cahoon's seniority gave him the option of working full-time if he wanted to, but he chose to work part-time. Safeway didn't have any issues with his performance and often assigned him to close the store alone, a position requiring a signifi cant amount of trust. e collective agreement the company Employee goes too far with constructive dismissal pg. 3 Employee threatened legal action with Stuart Rudner CREDIT: AN NGUYEN/SHUTTERSTOCK Bus driver fi red after punishing rowdy passengers pg. 4 Driver claimed he was set up by passenger's false injury report but failed to accept responsibility for failing to follow procedure after sudden emergency stop EMPLOYEE REQUIRED on page 6 » ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 When suspicions are justifi ed Retiring doesn't get employer out of paying long-term employee reasonable notice AN ONTARIO attorney must pay a long- term employee more than $50,000 in wrongful dismissal and aggravated damages after he decided to retire with three-and-a- half months notice rather than terminate her employment without cause. Tina Armstrong was a legal secretary for Harold Lendon, an attorney in Owen Sound, Ont., since 1986. Her employment went smoothly until 2008, when there were some issues with her job performance. Armstrong began suff ering stress and took two months off on doctor's orders. Her doctor also sup- plied a note validating the leave. Armstong also began feeling underap- preciated and overworked. At one point she told Lendon if she didn't get a raise she would resign with two weeks' notice. On July 11, 2012, Armstrong had an emo- tional outburst in the offi ce. Lendon claimed she demanded a $5,000 bonus and a raise or she would quit on the spot. He said the outburst was so severe he was concerned about Armstrong's health, but he felt he had no choice and agreed to pay the bonus and give her a raise. Armstrong denied asking for a specifi c amount but did request a bonus, which had been regularly paid in the past. In August 2012, Armstrong called in sick several times, which Lendon testifi ed put him under signifi cant stress as it was during a time when he was close to four major deals. He considered terminating Armstrong's em- ployment, but felt that would be more stress- ful. Armstrong testifi ed she suff ered from pneumonia at the time and all her absences were due to that. Ultimately, Lendon had had enough and he felt it was easiest if he just retired. On Sept. 4, he told Armstrong of his intention to retire on Dec. 31, 2012. He provided her with a positive letter of reference — that praised her "thorough competence," her ability to deal with diffi cult clients, and determination to assist clients — as he felt with proper as- sistance she could become a good performer LONG-TERM on page 7 »

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