Storing pornography on a work-issued laptop not “serious enough” to be cause for dismissal

Storing pornography on a work-issued laptop not “serious enough” to be cause for dismissal

Tagg Industries v. Rieder serves as a useful reminder of the importance of proving (and communicating to employees) a termination for cause, as well as the high threshold that employers must meet in such circumstances.

Just cause for dismissal: context is key

Just cause for dismissal: context is key

Determining what conduct amounts to just cause for dismissal is no easy task. In part this is due to just cause being inherently situation specific. When describing what may constitute just cause, employment lawyers often refer to extreme examples: think of situations where a public-facing employee makes repeated racial slurs to a customer or commits major fraud in the course of their duties. Typically, such facts will prove fertile ground for successful assertions of just cause for dismissal by an employer.

Andrew Vey Interviewed by Global News

Andrew Vey Interviewed by Global News

Earlier this month, Vey Willetts lawyer Andrew Vey spoke with Global News about the novel implications of a recent Ontario court decision for sexual harassment complainants. 

Q&A: Wrongful Dismissal from Employment

Q&A: Wrongful Dismissal from Employment

Q&A is a recurring series on the Vey Willetts LLP blog. The aim is to provide quick answers to questions we commonly encounter in our day-to-day practice of employment law. In this edition, we focus on wrongful dismissal from employment.

Secret recordings in the workplace: a review of legal and practical consequences

Secret recordings in the workplace: a review of legal and practical consequences

A common question employment lawyers are asked (by both employees and employers) is whether it is legal to make secret recordings while at work. A variety of circumstances may provide the motive for such action. An employee concerned they are being bullied may want to record proof of harassing comments made to them. Likewise, a supervisor may wish to secretly record the contents of a disciplinary meeting to safeguard themselves against future allegations of what was said.

{UPDATE} Off-Duty Conduct and Discipline: The FHRITP Case

In May 2015 we wrote on a major news story about off-duty conduct coming out of Toronto:

This week a media firestorm was sparked over comments made by a Hydro One employee (Shawn Simoes) to Shauna Hunt, a CityNews Television Reporter, outside a Toronto F.C. game. Shortly after the televised exchange, Hydro One made the decision to terminate Simoes' employment.

As we noted at the time, while Mr. Simoes' public conduct was abhorrent, it was not clear that Hydro One had just cause to fire its employee for actions not directly tied to the workplace.

Off-Duty Conduct and Discipline: The FHRITP Case

This week a media firestorm was sparked over comments made by a Hydro One employee (Shawn Simoes) to Shauna Hunt, a CityNews Television Reporter, outside a Toronto F.C. game. Shortly after the televised exchange, Hydro One made the decision to terminate Simoes' employment.

Mr. Simoes was present when another man yelled into Ms. Hunt's Microphone during a live broadcast, "F__k her right in the p___y." Yelling this phrase, abbreviated to FHRITP, was popularized in a series of fake news reports in early 2014. Ms. Hunt, visibly upset at this act, challenged Mr. Simoes and his friends who had stood close by. Mr. Simoes did not repeat the phrase but said on live television to Ms. Hunt that what had transpired was "f____ hilarious." Before adding "you're lucky there's not a f___ vibrator here."