Sudden change from coaching to discipline leads to unjust dismissal

Worker had trouble for years meeting sales targets, but technical skills and performance of core responsibilities met expectations
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 11/07/2018

An Ontario Worker was unjustly dismissed when, after years of coaching and encouragement to improve her sales skills, she was warned and terminated within months for failing to meet sales targets, an adjudicator has ruled.

Shaw Communications — a telecommunications company providing telephone, Internet, television, and mobile services across Canada and based in Calgary — hired Christine Amer in September 2008 to be a customer service representative (CSR) at its call centre in Mississauga, Ont. The CSR job duties included receiving and responding to telephone calls from customers, handling initial sales, and responding to billing inquiries. She was also expected to encourage customers to add or upgrade services and to use e-billing.

A few months into her tenure, Amer’s sales numbers weren’t what Shaw wanted, so she was put on a performance improvement plan in May 2009. She met expectations and was removed from the program the following year.