12 months notice for employee fired without investigation

Employee was fired for making anti-Semitic comments against owners but employer didn’t bother investigating hearsay evidence
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 02/05/2014

An Ontario company owes a former employee 12 months’ pay in lieu of notice after failing to properly investigate and find evidence of allegations of anti-Semitic remarks against the owners, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled.

Richard Ludchen was a plant superintendent for Stelcrete Industries, a manufacturer of reinforcing and structural steel components such as rebar, in Welland, Ont. Ludchen was hired in January 1997 as a welder and worked his way up to become a superintendent in charge of the rebar assembly division in a new plant that opened in 2007. He supervised around 16 full-time production welders and was responsible for hiring, firing and disciplining employees in his division.

In February 2008, the Ontario government implemented a new holiday — Family Day. However, employers who already provided the minimum number of paid holidays specified in employment standards legislation were not required to make Family Day a holiday. Stelcrete was one of those employers and chose not to recognize Family Day as a holiday.