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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 98048
Experience:  Lawyer
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I have been teaching at the College of the North Atlantic in

Customer Question

I have been teaching at the College of the North Atlantic in Qatar for 9 years. I am Canadian, on a Canadian contract signed in Newfoundland. Up until this year our 2 and 3 year contracts were renewed automatically. This year they introduced a new process of interviewing us. I successfully passed the interview but was removed from the job competition due to one negative reference from a supervisor at the college. The supervisor had 8 years to document any performance-related concerns (they left the college a year ago). They hadn't raised any issues either verbally or in writing before the reference. There are no complaints or performance-related documentation of any kind in my HR file as per the college's progressive discipline policy. I've also found out the reference is false and malicious. What do you suggest I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for requesting me.

I am sorry to hear this.

Are you being dismissed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Thanks for helping. Not sure what you mean dismissed in this context. They didn't offer me another contract since they removed me from the competition. I was there for 9 years, so although working by on tract, I was acting (in the eyes of the law as I understand it) as a permanent employee over 4 contract renewals Thanks.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Yes you were but I want to know if they are saying your contract is over and good bye or are they treating you as being dismissed for cause or without just cause and providing pay in lieu of notice.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are saying my contract is over and goodbye because, although I successfully reinterviewed for another contract, they removed me from the competition when they received a negative reference from a mananger. The problem is the manager never mentioned any performance concerns either verbally or in writing during the previous 9 years as per their own progressive discipline policy. The news was a shock to me. I managed to get the reference text through a FOI request and see it is full of lies, claiming I did things that I didn't. The college checked one more reference and it was neutral, then they didn't check a third. So this was a public competition for a government run college that I was successful in, then a low-level hr person removed me without checking my hr file that has no documentation of the claims on the negative reference. Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had been renewed 3 times after the initial contract (each contract was for 2 or 3 years) for the previous 9 years. This round of contracts had a new process if interviews and reference checks. At the start of the interviews they told people to answer as if they had never worked for the college before, even to people that had been there 12 years.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You are correct and the court would treat you as a permanent employee. The laws relating to dismissal of a permanent employee will apply.

If an employer wants to dismiss an employee for cause the employer is required to provide the employee with written warnings, unless the employee`s conduct is so extraordinary that immediate dismissal is warranted.

As this was not the case then you should consider a claim for wrongful dismissal and seek damages from your employer.

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.

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