Transfer of bank manager after complaints was constructive dismissal

Move to non-supervisory position amounted to demotion without proper disciplinary procedure: Court
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 11/16/2011

Deconstructing a forced transfer

Constructive dismissal takes place when an employer unilaterally changes the fundamental terms and conditions of the employment contract. Is a transfer of a manager to a non-supervisory position for disciplinary reasons such a change? It can be, especially if the new position is considered below the employee’s existing position and the employer doesn’t follow its disciplinary policy. Even if the employer puts a positive spin on things.

When National Bank of Canada received complaints from several employees about bullying behaviour by a senior manager, it thought it would be prudent to move him to another executive position without supervisory duties. However, the senior manager didn’t want to move and the change turned out to be a constructive dismissal, putting the bank on the hook for more than a year’s pay in lieu of notice for the manager.