Unsatisfactory performance not cause to fire radio host: Court

Program director/host fired after he couldn't fulfil duties that changed after hiring
|Canadian Employment Law Today

A Saskatchewan radio station didn’t have just cause when it fired a morning show host for unsatisfactory job performance, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench has ruled.

Grant Schutte was the program director and an on-air personality with a radio station in Swift Current, Sask., when he was recruited by a station in Melfort, Sask., in December 2001. The Melfort station, CJVR, approached Schutte about a similar role where he would host a morning show and oversee the station’s change to a new format. Shutte agreed to an offer of $3,800 per month that would increase to $4,000 per month on Sept. 1, 2002. CJVR also agreed to pay expenses for his moving, temporary accommodation in Melfort and legal costs associated with the move.

In accepting the position, Schutte sent an e-mail saying he had never spent less than five years at a radio station and was willing to commit to “that same time scale” to CJVR. The station’s general manager responded with the comment “commitment — five years would be a nice start.”