Error prone worker fired without notice

Was summary dismissal justified after worker's multiple errors and defiance of superiors?
|Canadian Employment Law Today

This instalment of You Make the Call looks at a case before the British Columbia Supreme Court where a worker was fired after a making a mistake which affected the employer’s ability to serve certain clients.

Martha McGachie, 66, was an employment counsellor for the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society in Victoria, B.C., from May 2000 until her dismissal in 2004. During her time with the society, her probationary period was extended multiple times and her supervisor had warned her each time that her job performance needed to improve. He also recommended she be let go because of her incompetence.

In the year before her firing, McGachie committed some significant mistakes which prompted a warning letter telling her any more similar errors would likely result in termination. Three months later her supervisor sent her an e-mail calling attention to her latest error. She was advised the e-mail would be “kept on your personnel file” but she was not warned of possible dismissal as before.