Reinstatement eludes teacher despite successful grievance

Pattern of misconduct didn’t justify dismissal, but teacher’s dishonesty and accusations damaged the employment relationship beyond repair
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 02/14/2018

Many occupations have an expected level of professional conduct expected, and certain ones have higher standards than others. Dishonesty and insubordination don’t usually fare well in terms of misconduct warranting dismissal. And sometimes, even if they don’t serve as just cause for dismissal, they might be enough to keep the employee from coming back to work.

An arbitrator has ruled that an Ontario teacher’s termination for professional misconduct was too heavy-handed but reinstatement wasn’t an option because the employment relationship was damaged beyond repair.

Lisa de Santis was an occasional teacher for the Toronto Catholic District School Board beginning in 1999. She worked daily assignments filling in for absent full-time teachers as well as long-term occasional assignments. She was qualified to teach French, so she was in demand to fill in for full-time French teachers.