Shift refusal gets vacationing employee fired

Employer wanted employee to work a shift on second day of vacation
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 08/24/2011

This instalment of You Make the Call involves a dispute over an employee’s vacation and a termination of employment that followed.

Lerae Bigelow was a day supervisor for T.C. Mobile Vessels, an oilfield service company providing monitoring and testing services for the oil and gas industry based in Brooks, Alta., owned by her cousin, Trevor Bigelow. She started working for T.C. Mobile on in August 2006 and her duties included transporting supplies, fuel and workers to and from job sites, training employees and carrying out job inspections.

Lerae Bigelow didn’t have set work hours because T.C. Mobile responded to client needs that could come up at any time. As a day supervisor, others typically handled night calls. T.C. Mobile had a written job description outlining her role, but there was no written employment contract or policies on vacations and discipline.