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.

Just Posted

‘Absolutely devastating’: Laptops, gift cards stolen from Surrey Christmas Bureau

Executive director says it’s a ‘huge blow’ and the charity was ‘already struggling for teen gifts’

Two-vehicle Surrey crash snarls traffic at 152nd, Highway 10

Surrey RCMP Constable Richard Wright said police were on scene when it happened

Surrey RCMP looking for missing 13-year-old Indigenous boy

Police say Stephen Donnelly was last seen around 3 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the 10400-block of 132nd Street

Surrey RCMP searching for missing 50-year-old man last seen in Whalley

Police say Sasha Bankovic went missing at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the 13700-block of 96th Avenue

Closure of Surrey recovery homes ‘bittersweet,’ says grieving mom

South Surrey mother says she plans to keep a close eye on how facilities are monitored

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

Thunberg ‘a bit surprised’ to be Time ‘Person of the Year’

‘I could never have imagined anything like that happening,’ she said in a phone interview

B.C. patients wait 41% longer than national average to see a walk-in doctor: Medimap

The longest wait time was found in Sidney, B.C., where patients waited an average of 180 minutes

10,000 affordable rentals a year needed to tackle Metro Vancouver housing crisis: report

The report focused on building government-funded housing, rather than relying on the private sector

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Most Read