The rule of progressive sanctions needs to be adapted when dealing with managerial staff

Release date: August 1st, 2017

A road superintendent lodged a complaint under the Municipal Code of Quebec challenging his dismissal for insubordination, breach of loyalty and reprehensible behaviour. The employer argued that the employee refused to collaborate with the Director General, used abusive language and did not abide by the Code of Conduct. In addition, disciplinary notices issued previously did not resolve the employee’s behaviour problems towards the Director General, colleagues and private citizens. According to the judge, in disciplinary matters, the rule of progressive sanctions must be adapted in the case of managerial staff in light of the more stringent duties of loyalty, diligence and exemplary behaviour that come with such positions. The employee’s offences were serious and created an unwholesome work climate. In addition, the latter had shown no sign of remorse, which constituted an aggravating factor. As a manager, he should have been aware of his obligations and known that his behaviour was unacceptable. The employer’s decision to dismiss him was wise, appropriate and sound, and it was not taken for arbitrary, discriminatory and unreasonable motives. The complaint was rejected.

Currie v. Namur (Municipality of), 2017EXPT-134, 2016 QCTAT 6914 (DRT), Susan Heap Esq.

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