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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101443
Experience:  Lawyer
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Glad your website is here. I have bee working in a health /

Customer Question

Hi Pearl, so glad your website is here. I have bee working in a health / supplement store for about 2 months, and separately have rented out a small office in the store to conduct my business which is primarily nutritional and lifestyle counselling. Today a fellow employee informed me that the owner of the store, as well as monitoring the store surveillance with video, monitors with audio. This was a shock, no informed consent, and I feel violated, not only for myself and customers who come in the store who sometimes give me personal details about their lives, but for my clients. The office is not completely sound proof (it has no ceiling.). I have received content to the possibility that someone in the store may hear something, but I knew nothing about the recordings. One of the cameras is located very close to this office. it seems to be pointing away, but the audio could definately pick up conversations. I don't know where to go next. The manager of the store is in Florida for the week and doesn't really know what to do (she's 23 & loves her job too much to leave it). Should I be confronting the owner right away, contact a labour board or police? Any advice would be very appreciated.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Shoot, I thought you were Canadian. I am in Ontario, Canada.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Nothing yet, I just found out at the end of my shift today.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not sure, I don't think so right now. It's late here though, will communication continue tomorrow morning?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 9 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

Expert:  Debra replied 9 months ago.

Are there signs posted about the cameras being used?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No there are no signs.
Expert:  Debra replied 9 months ago.

This is not permitted and it could be considered grounds for you to quit and sue for constructive dismissal.

The police will not agree to get involved though. You can try them but they will likely say the owner can put up security cameras in his own store.

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.

Does that help clarify the law?

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.

Expert:  Debra replied 9 months ago.

Is there anything more I can help you with at this point in time?