Canadian Employment Law Today

February 17, 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 February 17, 2016 Defl ecting the blame for accident doesn't save aviation worker's job AN ADJUDICATOR has upheld the dis- missal of a British Columbia aviation worker who failed to follow safety procedures and caused a potentially dangerous incident, then tried to defl ect the blame. Stephen Komarnisky was a senior ground service lead for Strategic Aviation Services (SAS), a ground handling and passenger care provider for airlines based in Kelowna, B.C. Komarnisky was hired in May 2008 and was responsible for co-ordinating and directing activities while ensuring a safe environment for employees and maintaining fast and ef- fi cient services. SAS stressed the importance of maintain- ing a "professional and positive image" and leading by example. Komarnisky had perfor- mance reviews in 2010 and 2011 that indi- cated he was performing above a satisfactory level and was a "great worker." He received a bonus cheque in 2012 for his performance and recognition the year before. In 2013, SAS issued him a corrective action for vio- lating a company policy — the incident was caused by a misinterpreted signal and, while SAS though he might be mildy intoxicated, Komarnisky claimed he only had the smell of alcohol on his clothes from a dart tourna- ment at his home the night before. SAS also had clear policies on safety, pro- hibiting "short cuts" in particular and stipu- lating that parking brakes must be engaged and engines shut off when vehicles were parked and left unattended. On Nov. 28, 2014, Komarnisky was work- ing with four other people. e weather was icy and they received a call to de-ice an air- craft. Komarnisky was responsible for oper- ating the de-icing truck, which was a fi ve-ton vehicle with drive and neutral positions but no park on the transmission. As a result, the parking brake with an adjustable tension was used. Real estate agent gets $15,000 for harassment at brokerage Supervisor ought to have known his 'casual and informal' compliments were unwelcome: Tribunal BY JEFFREY R. SMITH AN ONTARIO company must pay a for- mer independent contractor $15,000 for sexual harassment and discrimination she suff ered from a supervisor, the Ontario Hu- man Rights Tribunal has ruled. Adria Panucci was a self-employed com- mission salesperson who began working with Seller's Choice Stockdale Realty, a real estate brokerage in Brantford, Ont., in 2007. e working relationship Panucci had with her supervisor at Seller's Choice, Ronald Stockdale, was good. ings began to change in late 2011, when Panucci attended a holiday party thrown by Seller's Choice. According to Panucci, Stockdale made a comment about the lipstick she was wearing and how well she looked. is incident began a pattern in which Stockdale continued to com- Employee constructively dismissed after assault pg. 3 Owner discriminated against worker by transferring her with Meghan McCreary CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHEE.EU/SHUTTERSTOCK A drink at lunch doesn't breach 'vague' zero tolerance policy pg. 4 Alcohol on employee's breath leads to allegations, vague threats, and $48,000 in wrongful dismissal damages ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 Contact with employee on medical leave EMPLOYER on page 7 » MANAGER on page 6 »

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