In Cho v. Cafe La Foret Ltd. (a BC decision), the employer cafe wound up paying its terminated head baker pay in lieu of notice, costs, and aggravated as well as punitive damages even though the Court found that this employee had been terminated after the employer had correctly concluded that he had sexually harassed a subordinate female employee in the workplace. This distressing result turned largely on the employer’s attempt to have the head baker sign an affidavit exposing him to serious criminal jeopardy as a condition of continuing employment. In fact, the employee had offered to resign upon being advised of his misconduct. Had the employer simply accepted this resignation, there would have been no claim of wrongful dismissal and any claim of constructive dismissal would have had to overcome the employee’s own offer of resignation. Instead, the employee refused to sign the affidavit and expensive litigation ensued. At the time of trial, a criminal investigation was ongoing creating the prospect of contradictory outcomes between the civil and criminal proceedings.
There appear to be several mis-steps here on the part of the employer. Generally, poor tactical decisions are the result of flawed strategy. It appears very much as if the employer here did not comprehend its own litigation risk and cost. If you are considering terminating employment, get excellent advice.