Unauthorized absences over three days just cause for dismissal, court says

An employee’s multiple absences were sufficient to warrant his dismissal, a Nova Scotia court has ruled
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Michael Hunter worked as a junior developer for Halifax-based office telecommunications service provider Webcentrex Inc. He began his employment with the company on March 20, 2006. His employment contract stipulated normal office hours were 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break. He was expected to work 37.5 hours per week.

On Friday, March 23, 2007, Hunter didn’t show up for work. Webcentrex called and e-mailed him to find out where he was. Hunter replied through e-mail that he wouldn’t be in to work that day due to a “personal issue.” The common practice for illnesses was employees were required to advise the employer they weren’t coming in to work. For other absences, they were required to get authorization in advance.

The next workday, Monday, March 26, Hunter came in to work around 9 a.m. and found out he couldn’t use his computer due to some work that had been done on it. He left for home because he said he need to send some e-mails, returned in the early afternoon and picked up some books before leaving again. As it turned out, he had been exchanging e-mails with another company regarding his application for another job.