Communication failure ends in termination

Manager’s continued refusal to implement company policies just cause for dismissal
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Peter Graham, president and majority shareholder of Raymond & Heller Ltd., a retail store for fine oriental carpets, decided to expand his business. Originally the Ottawa area was serviced by a store in Montreal, but in 1991 a new store was opened in Ottawa. Mr. Graham hired Douglas Mair to be the store manager.

Although Mr. Mair was the store manager, Mr. Graham made many decisions. For example Mr. Graham signed the lease for the Ottawa operation, provided all inventories and hired the employees. All new stock was purchased by Mr. Graham through the Montreal office from international sources. Every Friday Mr. Graham would travel from Montreal to Ottawa to meet with Mr. Mair to discuss operations, customer needs, store policies and to transport some goods back and forth. Mr. Mair was also in regular communication with Mr. Graham by telephone and facsimile.

In addition to selling carpets, the store also undertook cleaning, repairs and appraisals of fine oriental carpets. All of this work was sent to Montreal. The rugs were either brought to the Ottawa store by customers or picked up by the delivery service and then transported to Montreal for the work to be performed.