Employee’s complaint painted as layoff request

Employer claimed employee asked to be laid off, but more likely employer wanted to avoid WSIB costs
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 10/02/2013

An Ontario company wrongfully dismissed an employee who didn’t understand English very well when he signed a form stating he was resigning, an arbitrator has ruled.

Shahab Makholi, 42, was a welder for Daybar Industries, a manufacturer of fire doors and fire door frames located in Mississauga, Ont. An immigrant from Iran, Makholi’s English was limited — he could speak it to a certain extent, but couldn’t read or write with it. Because Daybar had other employees who spoke Persian, and he could understand the diagrams and numbers for welding, he got by without needing to improve his English. In his previous jobs after arriving in Canada, he had also worked with others who spoke Persian.