‘The kind of employer that employees shoot’

Elg v. Stirling Doors, 2002 CarswellOnt 2574 (Ont. S.C.J.)

Elg worked part-time from August 1990 to April 1992, and full-time thereafter with Stirling Doors. She was 54 when she received working notice of termination on Dec. 10, 1999, calculated using one week of notice per year of employment. Following the notice, Elg became disruptive in the workplace which eventually resulted in a verbal confrontation between herself and one of the owners.

Elg told the owner that her eight-week notice period would be eight weeks of hell and there was nothing he could do about it. She then said, “You are the kind of employer that employees shoot.” Based on this exchange and some advice received from the Ministry of Labour by telephone, the owner ordered Elg to leave immediately. She was paid only for the days she had worked on the basis that her refusal to do work constituted just cause for dismissal.

The court held the employer could not rely on a situation it had created and a confrontation that was foreseeable in order to claim Elg was dismissed for cause. It further held that a reasonable notice period of eight months was appropriate.

There was no extension of the notice period because of the manner of dismissal. Although the termination took place two weeks before Christmas, there was no evidence of bad faith and in fact the employer had acted conscientiously upon advice from the Ministry of Labour. Elg was also entitled to the Christmas bonus she would have received if she had not been let go.

Latest stories