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Digest of the Week — Blogging About Your Boss

Kim v. International Triathlon Union |
2014 BCSC 2151 |
British Columbia Supreme Court

Labour and employment law | Employment law | Termination and dismissal | Termination of employment by employer | What constituting just cause | Misconduct | Miscellaneous

Plaintiff was employed as communications manager, with defendant employer who was triathlon governing body — Manager had been previously employed in similar position with employer, before leaving for employment elsewhere — Manager rejoined employer and was given more senior position than she had had previously — Manager received increase in salary, during second stint with employer — Manager had social media accounts, from which she sent posts and tweets which were critical of athletes and triathlon officials — Manager had disagreement with supervisor as to her vacation time, which she believed she was able to fully take at end of year in 2012 — Manager wrote post on personal blog that disparaged supervisor's actions, comparing supervisor to manager's own mother whom she felt mistreated by — Manager was also criticized by coordinator of one triathlon event, for being difficult to work with it — Supervisor terminated manager on manager's return from vacation, in late 2012 — Manager was only given two weeks' notice pay, prescribed in provincial employment standards act — Manager found new position in July 2013, with Toronto Pan American Games — Manager also completed short contract in early 2013 with Sochi Olympic organizers — Manager claimed that she was not properly notified of conduct that was used as justification for termination — Manager claimed that there were no social media policies set out by employer — Supervisor claimed that she had discussed aspects of manager's communication style and behaviour with manager, prior to termination — Supervisor claimed that actions of manager left her no choice but to terminate, and that manager was not entitled to notice — Manager brought action for wrongful dismissal, including notice damages based on 4 years' service — Action allowed — There was no single act of misconduct that warranted dismissal, and in any event manager's blog publication was not pleaded by employer as one such event — Employer did not sufficiently warn manager as to conduct that they found questionable.
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