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Violating Employer’s Trust – Grounds for "With Cause" Termination

By Allyson Baker

Dismissing an employee without notice on the basis of “cause” can only be justified by misconduct of the most serious kind and it is often difficult for employers to successfully argue a “with cause” termination. The recent BC Supreme Court decision of Steel v. Coast Capital Savings Credit Union indicates that violation of trust placed by an employer on an employee may be sufficient to justify a “with cause” termination. The termination in this case arose from an employee’s unauthorized access of a document held in the personal folder of another employee, which was located on the employer’s computer network.