The company conducted no investigation after Mr. McCaw’s revelation to Ms. Fleury. No one asked for Ms. Abdi’s side of the story before the decision to terminate her was taken and communicated to her. She was not even afforded an opportunity to speak prior to being told by Ms. Lalonde that she was dismissed. The termination letter’s message to Ms. Abdi is clear: She was not entitled to termination pay (or any other compensation) because, despite all previous discipline, she consciously decided to alter her work schedule without approval. The company arrived at its conclusion of deliberate misconduct based solely on Mr. McCaw’s assertion that Ms. Abdi swiped her card at 7:30 a.m. Ms. Abdi testified unequivocally that Ms. McCaw had given her permission to commence her shift early on the day in question. Mr. McCaw chose not to testify as to whether he had given Ms. Abdi the authorization to reschedule her shift.
As such, the employer could not avoid its obligation to pay Ms. Abdi the termination pay to which she was entitled under the Employment Standards Act. A company must fully investigate allegations of misconduct where it intends to rely on those allegations as grounds wiful misconduct justifying termination without notice.