Canadian Employment Law Today

July 19, 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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Canadian Employment Law Today | 3 Canadian HR Reporter, a Thomson Reuters business 2017 Cases and Trends Bad relations with co-workers and managers not constructive dismissal Worker had to go off work due to anxiety and stress but crumbling relationships with managers, co-workers not harassment BY JEFFREY R. SMITH AN ONTARIO employee's claims of con- structive dismissal and harassment dam- ages based on perceived slights and disen- chantment has been stymied by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Michael Lemesani, 56, was hired by Low- erys, a retailer selling stationery supplies, of- fice furniture, copiers and computers in Fort Frances, Ont., in June 1996 to be a salesper- son. He started on a three-month probation- ary period, after which his health benefits kicked in under his employment contract. After six months of employment, Low- erys conducted a performance review. Lemesani's compensation was restructured from salary-only to a combination of salary and commission. He was also assigned spe- cific accounts and territories that would be his exclusively for most products except for commercial copiers and contract furniture projects. In 2001, Lemesani's sales assignment was changed and he began to sell office machines such as copiers and printers. His salary and bonus increased and he had a new manager. His new employment contract provided for Lemesani and Lowerys to each pay half of the premiums for health, dental, and long- term disability plans. In the summer of 2010, Scott Christie — who was also one of Lowerys' four owners and the brother of Lemesani's manager, an- other of the owners — asked Lemesani for help building his new house. Lemesani had experience has a general contractor, so he agreed to lend his expertise but at an addi- tional fee to his Lowerys pay. Lemesani reviewed the plans, obtained quotations for heating, plumbing and elec- trical contractors and arranged for excava- tion He also drew up the permits and super- vised the foundation construction. Lemesani gave Christie an invoice for $5,000, but Christie accused him of taking advantage of him. Lemesani was shocked and said he wouldn't build the house, but re- duced the invoice to $1,400. However, Chris- tie said he wouldn't pay more than $700 and if Lemesani refused to accept that amount, his employment would be in jeopardy. Afterwards, Lemesani said Christie treat- ed him poorly at work and others in the office EMPLOYEE on page 9 »

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