Digging a deeper hole

Employee behaviour during investigation can be as damaging as the misconduct
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 03/26/2009

Questions on what constitutes just cause for dismissal seem to be never-ending. That is not surprising, given the Canadian courts have made it clear any allegation of just cause must be considered with a contextual approach, examining not only the alleged behaviour, but also the employment relationship as a whole. Typically, employers will look at the misconduct and the relationship prior to it, including the employee’s length of service, disciplinary history and contributions to the organization. However, in many cases, the deciding factor seems to be the manner in which the employee reacts when the accusation is made.