Dismissal for dishonesty not discrimination

Employee claimed mental disability was a factor in his lying to employer but couldn’t provide definitive medical evidence
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 01/03/2018

A British Columbia employer has won an appeal supporting its claim that it dismissed an employee for dishonesty, not his mental illness.

Joseph Francescutti worked in the sanitation department of the City of Vancouver and had a long tenure in his job, though it was not without problems — he had at least one suspension on his record and other instances of discipline. He also experienced issues with mental illness and the city had accommodated him when necessary.

In 2012, Francescutti had a perfect attendance record, so he was eligible for an award. All employees with perfect attendance records for the year were allowed to choose from a selection of clothing, gift cards, or other merchandise. Francescutti saw a jacket he liked, so he chose that as his prize. The jacket was ordered and arrived with the awards for other employees on March 22, 2013, when they were placed in the collections superintendent’s office to await distribution to the recipients.