Levitt said five key steps contributed to Harrigan's success:
Anticipate the defences
"Harrigan should have thoroughly interviewed Campbell before dismissing him. This would create an objective transcript, reducing the element of surprise in the trial and eliminating newly developed excuses after the employee retains counsel."
"In this case, the court was faced with divergent versions as to what Campbell said in his defence to the gas card allegations. In the absence of a recording, the court sided with the employee."
Do the legwork before termination
"The court determined there was no evidence that an employee could not claim insurance benefits for a separated spouse. That issue should have been sorted out before the dismissal."
Take a hard look
"The courts require employers to apply a principle of proportionality to an employee's wrongdoing. Even if the employee has misbehaved, it must be sufficiently serious to amount to cause. Harrigan assumed a considerable risk by relying on her original grounds for termination."
Follow the pattern
"Harrigan instinctively understood the old Quebecois saying that "Three follows two." Because dishonesty is rarely isolated, every aspect of an employees's work, including expense claims and work reports, should be scrutinized even after firing. I maintain that if you find dishonesty in one area, you are bound to find it in several."