OLG CEO Terminated with Cause – Board Resigns

| Monday, August 31st, 2009 | No Comments »

The Liberal Government has terminated the CEO of the OLG, which Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced, in response to questions put to him at the news conference this afternoon.

In response to a question, Duncan said CEO Kelly McDougald's employment was "severed with cause" and she would not be receiving a bonus.

McDougald earned $400,000 per annum in a position she held for nearly 2 years. 

As reported in the Toronto Star, some of the flagged expenses show OLG members dinged taxpayers for such items as a $7.70 pen refill, the $1,000 cancellation of a deposit on a Florida condo due to work requirements, a $1.12 cloth grocery bag and a $30 car wash claim submitted without a receipt.

The Board of the OLG has resigned according to reports.

In Ontario, employees are entitled to notice of their termination or severance pay when terminated without cause.  If, however, an employer can show that an employee has engaged in serious misconduct which undermines the operations of the business or brings negative public scrutiny, the employee can be fired without any severance pay or notice, which is referred to as "cause for dismissal."  Cause for dismissal is typically seen as the capital punishment in workplace law, as policy and the courts will find that only the most serious forms of misconduct, proven on the evidence, can justify the penalty. 

Other factors that impact the issue are whether McDougald had an employment agreement, when the bonus became payable and whether or how long it takes to find other work. 

As well, even in clear cases of misconduct courts have overturned the dismissal and awarded severance pay where the investigation into the incidents was faulty or incomplete. 

Daniel Lublin is the managing partner of Whitten & Lublin LLP, an employment and workplace law firm that acts for employees and employers across canada.  He can be reached at www.canadaemploymentlawyer.com.

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