Employers Too Often Pay for Stress: Firm but Not Unfair, Court Finds

Financial Post: Wednesday, July 23, 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Lawyers retained by damaged or troubled employees too often issue lawsuits without analyzing whether any legal wrong was committed by the employer. Increasingly, we are seeing claims issued by the more left wing members of my bar based on disability, gender and other forms of purported discrimination, which should be more vigorously defended than they are now. A sympathetic employee and real damages do not equate to a successful lawsuit and employers should be rigorous in analyzing their legal liability. Continue reading Employers Too Often Pay for Stress: Firm but Not Unfair, Court Finds

Supreme Court Makes an Impact: Honda Within Its Right to Listen to Its Own Doctors

Financial Post: Wednesday, July 16, 2008. All Rights Reserved

In Canadian legal history, there have been only 11 Supreme Court of Canada cases in non-union employment law. When that court writes a decision, it intends it to make an impact. The recent decision in Keays v. Honda Canada does, although its significance has been grossly mischaracterized and misunderstood: Keays was peridocially absent with chronic fatigue syndrome for several years. Honda, noting that his doctor’s notes were becoming increasingly limited, ordered him to see its specialist. It warned failure to do so would result in dismissal. On the advice of legal counsel, Keays demanded to know “the purpose, methodology and parameters of the assessment.” When he persisted in refusing the assessment, Honda fired him. Continue reading Supreme Court Makes an Impact: Honda Within Its Right to Listen to Its Own Doctors

Shuffling Manager Could Be Seen as Dismissal: Profit Losses Don’t Justify Drastic Demotion

Financial Post: Wednesday, July 09, 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Frank Power knew his career at Unique Chrysler Plymouth was drawing to a close when he was shuffled into an office that was last used for storage. Power was the dealership’s general manager, in charge of the entire operations. But Sandy Calder, Unique’s owner, decided to take matters into his own hands when the business’s finances became unstable, and profits were inconsistent. Continue reading Shuffling Manager Could Be Seen as Dismissal: Profit Losses Don’t Justify Drastic Demotion

Employers Can Resist Poor Work Habits

Financial Post: Wednesday, July 02, 2008. All Rights Reserved.

The entitlement state is alive and well on the other side of the Atlantic. Writing from abroad, I can report that subsidization of indolence, restricted hours of work and punitive taxation, pervades the economies of western and central Europe. And Canada isn’t far behind, thanks to a deteriorating work ethic and the debate here, which focus on work-life balance, sensitivity and emotional quotient. Continue reading Employers Can Resist Poor Work Habits

The Fine Art of Saying, You’re Fired

Financial Post: 17 August 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Shirley believed she was doing Sam a favour when she fired him. Concerned that he would repeat his mistakes in his next job, she calmly detailed all of the reasons for his dismissal and offered advice to prevent those problems’ recurrence. Sam took it well, requesting clarification on some points and agreeing with others. Continue reading The Fine Art of Saying, You’re Fired

Changing an Employees Status Has Consequences: Steadily Eroding Someone’s Job Can Land You in Court

Financial Post: 10 August 2005  All Rights Reserved.

With the chief executive as his brother, Norman Miller was confident he had job security. But returning from lunch one day, he was shocked to discover that his desk had vanished. It was his brother’s doing. Continue reading Changing an Employees Status Has Consequences: Steadily Eroding Someone’s Job Can Land You in Court

Just Cause is Not the Easiest Thing to Demonstrate: Trading Barbs with Boss Not Enough to Justify Treatment

Financial Post: 3 August 2005 All Rights Reserved.

Telling their boss off is a pleasure most employees can only fantasize about.

But not Christine Carscallen.

A marketing executive for FRI Corp., Carscallen reported to its president and CEO, Eligio Gaudio.

Both freely spoke their minds to the other. The result was a tumultuous relationship of more than 15 years. Continue reading Just Cause is Not the Easiest Thing to Demonstrate: Trading Barbs with Boss Not Enough to Justify Treatment

Because it’s in Writing, Doesn’t Make it So: Employment Contracts Must Follow Labour Policy to be Enforceable

Financial Post: 27 July 2005  All Rights Reserved.

The first day on the job, Trusty Francis was presented by his employer, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, with numerous forms to sign. One was titled Employment Agreement. Like most new employees, he read and signed the document, then put it out of his mind. Continue reading Because it’s in Writing, Doesn’t Make it So: Employment Contracts Must Follow Labour Policy to be Enforceable

Make Sure Employees Can Meet Set Standard: Court Crunches Numbers on Bags of Chips

Financial Post: 20 July 2005 All Rights Reserved.

Pepsi-Cola employees had to follow one unshakeable rule: No consumer must ever see a stale-dated product on any store shelf.

Donald Chester, a 20-year route sales representative, delivered Hostess Frito Lay products (owned by Pepsi) to retail outlets. Pepsi expected Chester to ensure its products were removed from stores before their best-before dates expired. Most of the time Chester honored Pepsi’s “golden” rule. Occasionally, he slipped up. Continue reading Make Sure Employees Can Meet Set Standard: Court Crunches Numbers on Bags of Chips