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Legal Ease
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The board of a charitable society in BC has terminated the

Customer Question

The board of a charitable society in BC has terminated the exec director. An employee , hired by the ED 2 years earlier, gave her notice, due to a desire to spend more time doing contract work in her events planning company. When she was asked to shorten up her departure time by the ED, she took legal counsel and expressed her rights to the board, along with some general concerns about the ED's management style. The exiting employee was paid for the time due and departed at the date requested by the ED, who had the support of the Board.
A board member took it upon herself to interview the outgoing employee. The employee used the terms bullying and toxic environment. From that unwitnessed conversation, the board member, at the suggestion of the employee, decided to interview the other 2 employees who have left due to other reasons over the course of the 9 year tenure of the ED. They confirmed that their boss could be demanding and difficult at times. At no time did they believe that their conversation would be used to fire the ED.
Conversations did occur with various board members and the ED. She recognizes that mistakes have been made by herself and the Board in handling this situation. She expressed no desire to speak with the 3 former employees. She stood on her 9 years of impeccable service to the Centre, its volunteers, and the growth and success during her tenure. The Board did not offer any concrete support to the ED after the interviews with the former employees. The Board decided to fire the ED over concern for potential legal action and a need to act upon the bullying and toxic work environment mentioned specifically by the most recent exiting employee.
Kathy at***@******.***
In a nutshell, what rights does the exiting employee have over what may be interpreted as bulyling, but may be a boss asking an employee to do something in which she no longer wants to be involved. What rights does the Executive Director have to be given assistance in dealing with changes in management style in her final 18 months of employment?
The Executive Director is close to retirement, and had recently been asked to extend her retirement date. A new building and changes that have and will come with it need the guidance of an experienced ED. However, concern over not t
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 months ago.

Your post was cut off. Please complete it. I am want to hear all of the facts.

As well, can you please clarify what she was offered in terms of termination pay?

Thanks

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The board of a charitable society in BC has terminated the exec director. An employee , hired by the ED 2 years earlier, gave her notice, due to a desire to spend more time doing contract work in her events planning company. When she was asked to shorten up her departure time by the ED, she took legal counsel and expressed her rights to the board, along with some general concerns about the ED's management style. The exiting employee was paid for the time due and departed at the date requested by the ED, who had the support of the Board.A board member took it upon herself to interview the outgoing employee. The employee used the terms bullying and toxic environment. From that unwitnessed conversation, the board member, at the suggestion of the employee, decided to interview the other 2 employees who have left due to other reasons over the course of the 9 year tenure of the ED. They confirmed that their boss could be demanding and difficult at times. At no time did they believe that their conversation would be used to fire the ED.Conversations did occur with various board members and the ED. She recognizes that mistakes have been made by herself and the Board in handling this situation. She expressed no desire to speak with the 3 former employees. She stood on her 9 years of impeccable service to the Centre, its volunteers, and the growth and success during her tenure. The Board did not offer any concrete support to the ED after the interviews with the former employees. The Board decided to fire the ED over concern for potential legal action and a need to act upon the bullying and toxic work environment mentioned specifically by the most recent exiting employee.In a nutshell, what rights does the exiting employee have over what may be interpreted as bulyling, but may be a boss asking an employee to do something in which she no longer wants to be involved. What rights does the Executive Director have to be given assistance in dealing with changes in management style in her final 18 months of employment?The Executive Director is close to retirement, and had recently been asked to extend her retirement date. A new building and changes that have and will come with it need the guidance of an experienced ED.ADDITIONAL INFO:
Board has created a board position board/employee/volunteer liaison.Board called a meeting July 13 2016 to let volunteers know that Executive Director was parting due to challenging employer-employee relations. The Board put forward some suggestions for going forward without an ED until one was hired and was asking for direction in options for type of office staff needed.Concerned members of the society have signed a letter of non-confidence in the Board and a general meeting has been call for Aug 9. Concerned members will meet on Aug 3 to discuss the background, questions for the Board, possible solutions regarding continuity of client care and commitment to the community, and sitting on Board.The response to the legal questions will assist with solutions as hiring the Executive Director on a monthly until a replacement is found is one possibility. The Board's actions seem to be, to a certain degree, out of fear of legal responsibility at continuing to hire a "bully." Longtime friends and colleagues, volunteers and previous board members do not have these concerns.Terms of termination pay: in regards ***** ***** employee who gave her notice: paid out holiday and pay to requested end date. As far as I know, any funds coming, ie holiday pay, were paid.In regards ***** ***** Director, 16 weeks severance was offered after 9 1/2 years of employment. Her final day is officially July 31, 2016.Kathy Dahl
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 months ago.

I understand the facts.

Can you clarify exactly what the question is.

Are you asking about the ED and whether she was treated properly or about the part-time employee or both?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Did the Board have to fire the ED due to the conversations and the previous employee seeking legal counsel?They expressed in the volunteer meeting and to me privately that they were obligated to do something quickly. The allegation of bullying seems to be the basis.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 months ago.

No they most assuredly did not. They could have and likely should have stood by her. She was there for 9 years and close to retirement. They were bullied by the lawyer or at least reacted to the threat of a lawsuit and threw her under the tracks to prevent that.

In my view what they should have done quickly is make it clear that these allegations were unfounded and that if they were sued they would strongly defend.

As well, they did not offer the ED enough termination pay at all. After 9 years she should have been given 9 months pay.

Does that answer your question?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I may get back to you with additional questions. Thanks for answering in a clear, concise way. I will be speaking with other society members and may have additional questions.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 months ago.

OK. I will be online for most of the weekend and most of next week as I'm pretty well online most of the time!

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 months ago.

Do you need any more help from me at this point?

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