Worker questions motives behind layoff

Employee laid off after shifts were rearranged
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/06/2016

This instalment of You Make the Call involves a worker who questioned her employer’s motives behind her layoff.

Northstar Frontier Services operates camps in remote areas that provide services to railway workers and is based in Sudbury, Ont. It hired Elaine Finlay to be a cook and camp manager in February 2011 on a seasonal relief basis, filling in at different camps until April 2012.

In 2013, Northstar hired Finlay to be a regular cook at a camp called Elsas. The rotation at camps such as Elsas stretched over a six-week period, with two cooks for each camp working three weeks on and three weeks off. Northstar paid the cost of transporting cooks to the camps, which for Finlay meant travelling from her home in Walkerton, Ont., 400 km to Sudbury and then to the Elsas camp. Because Finlay didn’t want to leave her car at the departure point for the train to Elsas, she left it in Sudbury and a Northstar employee picked her up and drove her from Sudbury to the departure point — another 300 km.