Affair coverup causes breakup with employer

Affair between admin assistant and manager began before company implemented non-fraternization policy
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/31/2012

An Ontario employer had just cause to dismiss a manager who lied about an affair he had with an administrative assistant, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled.

Bryan Reichard, 50, was hired in 1984 by Kuntz Electroplating, a metal finishing company in Kitchener, Ont. By 2007, Reichard became purchasing manager. While with Kuntz, Reichard had no disciplinary issues and was considered an exemplary employee.

In 2003, Reichard began a secret affair with an administrative assistant, who at the time did not report directly to him. Two years later, Kuntz implemented a non-fraternization policy in its workplace to protect employees from sexual harassment. Under the policy, employees had to disclose any romantic relationships with other employees to their supervisors, to avoid favouritism and conflicts of interest. Failure to comply could result in discipline up to and including dismissal. The policy put the onus of reporting on the person “occupying the position of power or having the status advantage.”