Employee’s personal calls answered with termination

But case fails because discipline never applied until final disconnect
By Lorna Harris
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/25/2005

In the firm’s view, there was no reason any employee could plead ignorance of the fact that calls from the sales floor were forbidden and would be considered theft.

Melissa Montorro worked in an Air Canada call centre in Vancouver during the week but returned home to Kelowna on the weekends to be with her husband and their new baby. Her husband’s restaurant business had failed, and he was suffering from depression. Since he was not well enough to look after their child, her mother and sister were doing so.

Montorro began taking double shifts to pay the bills. She was working 16-hour days — surrounded by telephones — and the temptation to keep in touch with home using the call centre’s phones proved too great to resist.