With millions of Ashley Madison users exposed after a hacking group published their personal information, employers are asking themselves how they can deal with employees who are engaged in what many see as reprehensible off-duty conduct.
Employers sometimes assume that an employee’s misdeeds in his or her private life are grounds for termination of their employment. For example, last summer, Toronto Hydro dismissed an employee who expressed support for a friend’s vulgar comments to a CityNews reporter on live TV. As a further example, a few years ago, a man was dismissed after an employer learned that he posted an inappropriate comment on an online memorial site for a bullied 15-year-old who committed suicide. In other cases, disgraced employees are gently (or not so gently) nudged by their employers to resign because their behaviour is inconsistent with the company’s moral values.
If the employers in these cases dismissed the employees for “cause” and the employee challenged the termination, who would the court side with? Sometimes the answer is obvious, but it is not always clear. Would the publicly exposed adulterous lifestyle of an employee be grounds for termination for “cause”?
Jon Pinkus, employment lawyer with Singh Lamarche LLP, will be hosting a live webinar on November 13, 2015 to shed some light on this issue. The program is offered as part of the Human Resources Professionals Association’s Continuing Professional Development program.
Details are available at the following link:
Jon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 647-799-0499.