Progressive discipline not applicable for manager

Release date: August 1st, 2019

A distribution centre manager’s complaint for dismissal was upheld. The manager had obstinately refused to follow the performance improvement plan implemented to help him abide by the company’s new business model. An application for judicial review was filed with the Superior Court, which found that the Commission des relations du travail (CRT: Labour relations board) had issued a reasonable decision by finding that the dismissal was "essentially disciplinary in nature” and that progressive discipline did not apply, as the employee held a management position. The judge indicated that the case law was clear: the position held by an employee is of great importance when it comes to judging progressive discipline. The standard scale does not necessarily apply to a management employee. The Court found it hard to see how a suspension could realistically apply to a manager, given the ensuing loss of credibility for the manager. In the case at hand, given the scope of the duties performed by the manager, the CRT could decide that progressive discipline does not apply. The decision to dismiss the manager was therefore upheld.

Yersh v. C.R.T. and FCA Canada Inc. (Chrysler)
2019EXPT-603, 2019 QCCS 740, Justice David E. Platts

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