I've worked for a British Columbia software company for 10 years. When I was hired, I was told that I would be able to work from home part of the time. My wife is on call, and once my kids started school, when my wife was called into work, I would connect to my work computer until it was time to drop the kids off at school. I would then work in the office until it was time to pick the kids up, and then work from home for the rest of the day. I did this on average 2 days a week for 8 years and under 4 managers without there being a problem. Now, a new manager has said that I can't do that anymore. Even though I have nothing in writing (for example my offer of employment) that says I'm entitled to work from home part of the time, has the company's approval of the practice of the last 8 years created a precedent?
Yes it has created a precedent.The situation does sound like this may be a case of constructive dismissal.When an employer does something that fundamentally changes the nature of the employment so that it drives the employee to quit, this may be a case of constructive dismissal. This is usually the case when the employer reduces wages, cuts hours etc. It is also the case where the employer's conduct makes it intolerable for the employee to continue working.If an employee does quit under these circumstances then the law is that constructive dismissal is wrongful dismissal and the employer will be liable for damages.If you are considering this option it is crucial that you first consult with an employment lawyer so that you can get a legal opinion from an expert both about whether the facts amount to constructive dismissal and, as well, about what damages you may be entitled to.Generally the damages would be equal to what you would receive had you been dismissed without cause. If that had been the case you would have been entitled to receive "reasonable" notice or pay in lieu of notice.Generally, in determining what is reasonable notice Courts look at several factors including the length of time you worked for the employer, your age, your position, the likelihood of finding new employment etc.At the high end, if you were in a managerial position, the Court would likely order one month's notice or pay in lieu of notice for each year of employment. If you were not in a managerial position the Court would order somewhat less.You can contact the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be $25.The number is:604.687.3221 or 1.800.663.1919.