Probationary employees can be fired, but employer must still make the case

Case shows importance of giving employee a bona fide trial period
By Lorna Harris
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/20/2004

Laurianne Bouvier was stunned when she received a letter dismissing her from her job. At the time, she was still on probation at Jeanne Sauve Family Services, a centre for troubled young people in Kapuskasing, Ont.

According to the employer, she was fired because she showed up for work with alcohol on her breath, was confrontational with clients and co-workers and did not follow routines correctly. The union launched a grievance on Bouvier’s behalf.

At the subsequent arbitration, Bouvier explained that just three days before she was fired, she had met with Jean Raymond, her supervisor and the person who had originally recommended she be hired. They discussed a client’s complaint about her and how she should handle a problematic situation with a client. She said she had found the meeting with Raymond both agreeable and helpful.