Conner LantzKeymasterAugust 22, 2023 at 1:13 amPost count: 4836
HI, I have a few questions I was hoping you could help me with:
. when we hire employees as seasonal do the offer letters have to have a definite start & stop date? Or is it enough to say “seasonal”?
. if we hired employees for the oil patch as seasonal but we had no break up due to lack of road bans & or good weather & they continued to work through spring break up (traditionally a down time) do we then have to produce a new employment letter stating their status has changed from seasonal to permanent?
. Which date is recognized on temp lay offs? Is it the date the employee requested the temp lay off? Or is it the date the written notice is mailed? Or is it the date the written notice is received by the employee?
. At what point can we terminate an employee who has had no contact with us for job abandonment? Are we obligated to contact them? If so how long should we try to communicate with them? Is there a preferred method of contacting them ie phone, text, written letter?
. What is the time frame that a signed progressive discipline in an employee file can be brought up against an employee facing further discipline or potential dismissal?
. Should dismissals/lay offs be done in person or is over the phone accepted practice?
. Thanks for the help, Polly Kurylo @ 403-596-4198Conner LantzKeymasterAugust 22, 2023 at 1:13 amPost count: 4836
Q1: You’re not legally required to list a specific term in the contract but it’s highly advisable that you do so.
Q2: Yes, if: A. the contract specifically says the work is seasonal; and B. the work really is permanent. Ditto if the work is probationary and the probationary period has passed under ESA.
Q3 and Q4: I’ll have to run the rest of the Qs past our payroll expert.
Q5: Time necessary to constitute job abandonment depends on the situation and would be much shorter for seasonal employment. What is clear, though, is that you do need to be able to document that you made an effort to contact the employee. Suggest sending a written notice documenting the absence, when it began, how long it’s continued and seeking clarification of his/her status as well as a reply deadline after which you will assume the employee has abandoned the position.
Q6: Generally speaking, previous disciplinary notices don’t have a defined shelf life, particularly when the latest offence is a repeat violation, i.e., the same violation the employee committed before. Exception: Many unions negotiate clauses into collective agreements providing that previous discipline DOES expire, i.e., gets tossed from the file, after a stated period, typically around 2 years.
Q7: Face to face is generally preferable. It’s not so much a legal requirement as the optics. Phoning a firing looks pretty crass, especially if the employee has long service. Doing it in person also enables you to get the severance paperwork signed. Exception where phone may be OK is where there are mass layoffs and you can’t personally talk to everyone or if you’re worried about the threat of violence.
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