Dismissal Just Cause for Defamatory Letter to Shareholders

Posted by Johannes Schenk on April 6th, 2010 — Posted in Employment Law

Chen v. Sable Fish Canada Inc., 2010 BCSC 444, deals with the matter of one unhappy employee that got himself fired for airing the company’s dirty laundry to no less than the shareholders. The case makes clear that a degree of criticism of management is acceptable but when that criticism goe beyond neutral with an intent to damage the employer’s reputation, cause, as it was in this case, is established.

Management countered with a defamation action. The employee’s statements were protected by a qualified privilege due to the employee’s comments concerning the management of the company’s affairs and the financial health of the company.