Canadian Employment Law Today

February 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 February 1, 2017 Jailed employee didn't abandon his position A NEW BRUNSWICK employer has been ordered to reinstate an employee it fi red for abandonment of position after the employee was sent to jail for six months without notifying it. Paul Lynch worked in the regional laboratory at the Doctor Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton, N.B., for Horizon Health Network. He was hired in 2004 and his job duties involved cleaning and sanitizing the lab and protecting medical samples from contamination. Lynch had two instances of discipline on his record — a written reprimand for having alcohol in his possession in the workplace, and a four-day suspension for misusing sick leave that Lynch claimed was a miscommunication with his supervisor. On Nov. 11, 2015, Lunch hit and damaged a road sign while driving and left the scene. Alcohol was a factor and the next day, police identifi ed him and said he could either appear voluntarily in court the following day or be arrested. Lynch decided he would appear voluntarily and told a co-worker at work that the following day "if I didn't show up for work, it will be because I'm in jail." Lynch was charged with having care and control of a vehicle while impaired, to which he pleaded guilty. Because his actions caused an accident and property damage, the judge ordered Lynch held in custody at a correctional centre in Saint John, N.B., until his sentencing on Dec. 29. No one was with him at the hearing, so there was no one who could advise Horizon of what happened. On Nov. 16, both Horizon's regional manager and human resources advisor tried to contact Lynch on his cellphone to fi nd out why he wasn't at work, but neither were successful as he was in custody. Two days later, with still no word from Lynch, they replaced him with a casual employee on a continuing basis. It was a diffi cult situation because they needed trained workers to perform Lynch's duties. e regional manager sent a letter to Lynch's home address on Nov. 23 stating that he was on an unapproved leave of absence and if Horizon didn't hear from him by Nov. 25, he could be disciplined, up to Teacher fi red for buying stolen goods from student at school Conduct was contrary to duties of a teacher and broke trust with both school board and students BY JEFFREY R. SMITH AN ONTARIO teacher's purchase of stolen goods from a student at his school was just cause for dismissal, an arbitrator has ruled. Farhez Lakhani was a high school teacher for the York Region District School Board, where he was the head of the science depart- ment at a high school in Markham, Ont. He started teaching for the school board in 1995 and came to the Markham school in 2002. A student at the school — whom Lakhani had taught as a Grade 9 student in 2009 — was known as an "at-risk" student with aca- demic, social, and emotional issues. e student had been suspended twice for drug- related incidents and often missed classes. In an attempt to get the student on the right track, the school board entered him into a program with academic and behavioural support from a child and youth worker em- CREDIT: BUSSABABUN/SHUTTERSTOCK EMPLOYEE'S on page 7 » TEACHER DENIED on page 6 » Re-employment obligation for injured worker doesn't preclude dismissal pg. 3 Good faith by employer can allow it to escape penalty Employer exacerbates harassment with bad-faith dismissal pg. 4 Company avoided dealing with harassment and intimidation by getting rid of complaining worker ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 Compensating employee for use of own vehicle

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