Dismissing plaintiff for arriving late was grossly disproportionate response

Ontario civil | Employment

WRONGFUL DISMISSAL

Dismissing plaintiff for arriving late was grossly disproportionate response

Plaintiff was employed by restaurant for 29 years. For first 28 years owners of restaurant were plaintiff’s brother and sister-in-law. Defendant then purchased restaurant. Defendant dismissed plaintiff from employment claiming just cause including allegations of chronic lateness, alcoholism and discourteous nature. Reason plaintiff was given on day of dismissal was that he arrived late for work. Plaintiff was 51 years old. Plaintiff brought action for wrongful dismissal. Trial proceeded in defendant’s absence. Action allowed. Plaintiff was entitled to reasonable notice of 15 months. Plaintiff proved claim for wrongful dismissal. There was no cause for plaintiff’s dismissal. Allegations of chronic lateness or failure to show up for work was contradicted by defendant’s own records. Sworn testimony to contrary of allegation of excessive alcoholism was accepted. Plaintiff debunked claim that he was discourteous to clients. Dismissing plaintiff for arriving late was grossly disproportionate response to such misconduct. Plaintiff was not senior or skilled employee. Plaintiff made reasonable efforts to find alternate employment but was not successful. Given plaintiff’s age, experience and qualifications it might be difficult for him to find alternate employment. There was no assessment for non-pecuniary discriminatory damages because there was no evidence that defendant discriminated against plaintiff on prohibited ground.
Violo v. Delphi Communications Inc. (Dec. 4, 2014, Ont. S.C.J., Chapnik J., File No. CV-12-456306) 247 A.C.W.S. (3d) 586.

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