Misconduct Outside Work | Author: Jordan Reiner
Busted! Fired for Misconduct Outside Work
Have you ever wondered how misconduct outside work impact’s your job status? Public shaming of individuals for their abhorrent behavior should make you stop and think about this. Examples: Ken Pagan, charged with mischief for allegedly throwing a beer can towards an outfielder at a baseball game. Shawn Simoes, caught on tape screaming obscenities at a female reporter. Jian Ghomeshi, accused of unwanted sexual violence. These men had their names, photographs and places of work publicized by the media. The public cried out loud and mob justice took place on social media. And consequently, their employers fired them for misconduct which took place outside of work and during their own time. Was this wrongful dismissal?
The law, as it stands, does not give your boss just cause to fire you under these circumstances. Your employer cannot let you go for behavior, no matter how repugnant, if it occurred off company property, not on company time and did not involve another employee. Even if you committed a crime you must be held “innocent” until you are tried and found guilty for it by a Court of Law.
It does not matter how badly you behaved or what the public thinks of your conduct.
What might surprise you, however, is this: Your employer does not need to provide any reason for firing you “without cause”. In this case, they must offer you reasonable notice and severance pay. This payment is compensation required by law from your employer for causing your loss of income. It has to reflect your age, position, seniority and employability. This money should buy you a financial bridge until you land another job.
In other words, Postmedia, Hydro One and the CBC were within their rights to fire Mr. Pagan, Mr. Simoes and Mr. Ghomeshi respectively, as long as each employee was compensated fairly for the sudden loss of their income. It does not matter how badly they behaved or what we, the public, think about their conduct.
Has your employer fired you for engaging in misconduct outside work? Please contact us. Our experienced lawyers will properly assess your circumstances. If you have a case for wrongful dismissal, you will not find a better team advocating for you. We exclusively represent employees just like you.
Photo: Ken Pagan, accompanied by his lawyer Tyler Smith, Toronto Police arrives at 52 Division on Thursday October 6, 2016. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun)
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