Secret recording by employee may justify termination

Donovan Plomp of McCarthy Tétrault draws our attention to an interesting decision from the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench:  “an employee’s use of his work phone to secretly record meetings with management may support an employer’s decision to terminate for just cause”.  It is especially interesting because the employer found out about the recordings after termination, and used it in the litigation as after-acquired cause.

Mr. Plomp notes three key positives for employers:

  1. Formal warnings of termination may not be necessary if circumstances make situation clear to employee.
  2. Employees may not be able to use their phones for secret recordings at work.
  3. Review and update workplace policies to govern use of work phones.

This isn’t law in Ontario, but its holdings may be followed or at least considered by Ontario Courts.

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