Lawsuit against current employer justifies dismissal

Telus employee poisoned employment relationship by challenging in court employer’s deductions for overpayment
By Daniel Lublin
|Canadian Employment Law Today

When Huntley Zia disagreed with his employer’s actions in recovering money he had been overpaid, he took it to court. Zia’s lawsuit sent shockwaves around the British Columbia offices of Telus Communications, where suing his employer while he was still employed was regarded as more than inappropriate — it was the last straw.

As part of a team of Telus employees sent to Thailand to implement a large telecommunications project, Zia objected to his level of pay, indicating he would leave the company if his request for additional salary wasn’t met. Telus approved a “foreign allowance” increment for him while he was away.

Presumably satisfied with the additional pay, Zia didn’t say anything when he continued to receive it following his return from Thailand until Telus detected the error. After four years, the overpayment totalled almost $100,000.