Employee’s relocation doesn’t move employer

Employee claimed he had permission to work from home in a different city; employer claimed it was only a temporary arrangement
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 10/17/2012

This instalment of You Make the Call features an employee who wanted to work from home in another city.

Richard Staley, 47, was a manager of software support for Squirrel Systems of Canada, a developer of “point of sale” systems and software for the food service industry, in Burnaby, B.C. Staley’s duties involved passing on customer needs to technical personnel and assessing the software designed to meet those needs. Most of his work was done on a computer, usually in the head office.

In June 2010, Staley’s wife, who was an RCMP officer, was approved for a transfer to Montreal. A few months earlier, Staley had mentioned the possibility of his moving to Squirrel’s vice-president. He raised the prospect of working remotely from Montreal and the vice-president told him to continue working for now. Staley got the impression he would be able to work remotely from Montreal, but the vice-president claimed there was no indication it would be a permanent arrangement and Staley gave him no timeline for when he was moving.