Woman fired for texting at work not just cause for termination

Texting at work no reason to be fired: B.C. Tribunal

A Lumby dental assistant was fired for texting during a staff meeting

A North Okanagan woman who was fired after texting on her cell phone during a staff meeting was let go without just cause according to the Employment Standards Tribunal.

Mieka Mandalari was awarded compensation in the amount of $5,163 after the director of the Tribunal found that Mandalari’s termination was a disproportionate response to the actions and attitude attributed to her during a June 20, 2018 staff meeting, particularly in light of her length of seven years of service and the lack of corrective discipline.

Mandalari worked as a dental assistant for Dr. Paula Winsor-Lee in Monashee Dental Centre in Lumby from Dec. 16, 2011 to July 3, 2018 when she was fired after her texting during a staff meeting was found to be ‘inexcusable’.

READ MORE: B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

The dental assistant was handed a letter in Nov. 2014 that claimed she was not a team worker and lacked respect to Dr. Paula Winsor-Lee and the other employees.

Following Mandalari’s termination, she filed a complaint alleging Winsor-Lee had contravened the Employee Standard Act and claimed she was owed regular wages, annual vacation pay, statutory holiday pay, and compensation for length of service.

Jennifer Redekop, delegate of the Director of Employment Standards, found that there was a potential issue concerning overtime and annual vacation pay.

However, during the hearing, Windsor-Lee supported her cause with a number of concerns both she and other employees had in regards to Mandalari’s actions, conduct and interactions with others.

Yet Redekop found Winsor-Lee failed to show there was just cause to terminate Mandalari and awarded her compensation for length of service in the amount set out in the determination.

READ MORE: ‘Human error’ caused mistakes in 32,000 B.C. Grade 12’s transcripts: education minister

Plus, Winsor-Lee was fined an additional $2,000 for contravening the Employment Standards Act.

Winsor-Lee attempted to fight back and appeal the case claiming Redekop erred in law in finding it had not established there was just cause for terminating the employment of Mandalari.

Winsor-Lee acknowledged the circumstances of Mandalari’s termination involved a cumulation of “minor misconduct or performance issues,” and said Redekop erred in law by finding Mandalari’s termination was a disproportionate response to the actions and attitude attributed to her during the June 2018, staff meeting.

The appeal was dismissed as there was no evidence to support Redekop erred in law with respect to the facts of the case.


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District looking for public input on cycling plan

Survey is open to the public until May 25

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Flooding highly unlikely this year throughout Skeena watershed

Region’s snowpack among lowest in the province

Cameras and convoys: Graduation in the age of COVID-19

Schools in Terrace and Kitimat are thinking outside the box to give students a graduation ceremony

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read