When does a lie warrant firing?
May 28, 2008
Court finds daycare director was sloppy
Howard Levitt, Financial Post Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Honesty may be the best policy, but as one Saskatchewan employer learned, to its chagrin, not every act of dishonesty justifies dismissal for cause.
Away We Go Childcare required early childhood educators for its new daycare in Melville, Sask. The board of directors proceeded to interview Ashley Berg and instructed Christy Myers, the facility’s director, to offer Berg a job. Myers recognized Berg’s name as a former classmate.
In light of the nature of the position and the potential for liability, the board expected Myers to obtain a criminal record check and keep a copy in the personnel file. Myers instead asked Berg for the document. Berg produced a record showing she had no convictions.
However, the board was left in the dark regarding a few issues: Berg omitted her last employer, Dr. Brass Daycare, from her resume and it was never told about Myers and Berg being classmates.
Shortly after Berg was hired, rumors surfaced about her employment history. A board member told Myers she learned Berg had been fired from Dr. Brass for racial slurs, compromising confidential information, and for an altercation with that facility’s director. Criminal charges allegedly had followed.
Myers assured the board member she would investigate the allegations, but failed to disclose she had previously worked with Berg. Then she investigated by getting Berg’s side of the story and did not follow-up with Dr. Brass. Berg claimed she was verbally assaulted by the director of her former employer and a bouncer at a bar. At ensuing board meetings, Myers did not report her findings. In fact, she recommended Berg fill in while she was on maternity leave.
The rumors eventually reached the rest of the board. Berg then admitted to omitting information from her resume and was terminated for resume fraud. Myers was subsequently fired for breach of trust and conduct unbefitting a director, because the board said she deliberately concealed knowledge of Berg’s employment history, and never reported on the accusations, nor conducted a thorough investigation into them. Myers sued Away We Go Daycare for wrongful dismissal.
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