Worker thrown under the bus without just cause

Bus tour company made unsupported allegations following dismissal but none of them convinced the adjudicator
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 11/07/2018

A Manitoba company has been unable to support its claim that it had just cause to dismiss a manager and must pay $14,000 in damages for unjust dismissal.

In 2012, Maisie Hicks was involved in the start-up of Winnipeg Exclusive Bus Tours, a company offering charter tours by motor coach from Southwestern Manitoba to destinations across North America. Hicks contributed $3,000 towards the start-up costs of the company and worked for the company for its first few months without taking a salary. She believed she was a partner in the company and asked for a written agreement indicating as much, but she was told to wait and see how the business developed before the company determined the specifics of rewarding her investment.

In January 2013, Hicks officially became a paid employee of Exclusive Bus. She worked as a general manager, fixed operations and reported to the most senior executive at Exclusive Bus. She often advised the executive on various matters, including decisions on purchasing buses.