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Being Fired for Serious Reason or Fault

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Labor and employment law

Marcus has worked for the company HELLO at the call center department for 6 months now. On top of his salary, he is entitled to receive a bonus for each quarter of the year. He did receive his 1st bonus for the 1st quarter of the year.

Marcus has been devastated since he found out that his wife has cancer. He started to be less productive at work. To compensate for his lack of productivity at work and to make sure to receive his bonus for the following quarter, he has falsified several call sheets, by adding people to his list that he did not call or to whom he did not sell any services, in order to get his bonus. A few weeks ago, Marcus received his second quarter bonus.

Yesterday Marcus had a meeting with his employer and the Human Resources Director. They terminated him for serious fault and they did not give him the notice provided for in article 82 of the Labour Standards Act. Marcus wants to know if his employer had the right to terminate him without any notice.

Is an Employer Entitled to Terminate an Employee Without Notice for Serious Fault?

According to the article 82.1 of the Labour Standards Act, an employer is entitled to terminate, without any notice, an employee who has committed a serious fault. In fact, falsifying a call sheet in order to receive a bonus could be considered as fraud or at least a serious fault committed by an employee. In such circumstances, the employer need not necessarily apply the theory of the escalating scale of disciplinary measures (“gradation des sanctions”) if he considers that the misconduct of the employee constitutes a serious fault. Besides, that can also be considered as “stealing or wasting company time”.

That occurs when an employee does not, during his regular working hours, perform his job. However, we suggest that the employer analyze the gravity of the misconduct to determine if it constitutes a serious fault before he makes the decision to dismiss an employee. Otherwise, the employer can be sued by the employee for dismissal without good and sufficient cause.

Nadia Pola, Attorney-at-Law
Alepin Gauthier avocats inc.

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