So, Ms Harfield, why do you want to work here?” Rupert peered at the job applicant.
“Well, I’ve been successful with several businesses and I would now like to become a broker. I’d welcome the opportunity to learn from the best.”
Rupert smiled smugly. “I might be able to teach you a thing or two.”
Angie ran to her friend. “I got the job, Lucy! Rupert will be a great mentor.”
“Why do you need a mentor? You’re a successful business woman.” Lucy scoffed.
“Sure, but not as a stock broker. It’s a tough field.”
Her cell rang. It was Rupert
“Is that lunch or a vacation? We have work to do!”
Lucy was appalled. “Sounds like a monster.”
Angie smiled awkwardly. “He’s a little rough…but he’s brilliant. I’ve learnt so much already.”
The next month was difficult.
“Have you started the cold calls?” Rupert asked.
Angie squirmed. “Actually, I’ve developed my own leads…”
“Are you deaf? Get to the cold calls.”
At lunch with Lucy, Angie rubbed her tired eyes. “I can’t do anything right.
“Lucy, you’re pulling in as much new business as some of the senior brokers and your customers love you. Your monster mentor is destroying your confidence.”
Angie stood up. “I’ve got to get back. Rupert won’t give me a full lunch hour until I make those calls.”
Back at the office, Rupert exploded at Angie. “Can’t you follow simple orders?”
“But I don’t feel cold calls are necessary.”
“How dare you defy me.”
“You know, I really don’t need this…I’m successful here.”
“You’re finished here. Get out.”
Angie grabbed her client list and left in tears.
Her clients were shocked. “Angie’s gone? Well, what about our investments…are they okay?”
Rupert was cagey. “We’re looking into it…”
Angie heard about what he had said to her clients.
“He not only fired me without cause, he defamed me to my clients! I’m suing.”
IN THE COURTROOM
Angie was firm, “He had no right to fire me just because I wouldn’t do all those useless cold calls. I was as successful as the managing partner, in much less time and in my own way. Rupert also ruined my reputation by implying my clients’ investments were not safe.”
Rupert responded. “Your Honour, she defied my order to do cold calls. That’s pure incompetence. And I didn’t really bad mouth her to her clients.”
Was Angie wrongfully dismissed and defamed? YOU! Be the Judge! Then look below for the decision.
“Pay up, Rupert!” held the Judge. “Though you were always encouraging cold calls, they weren’t a condition of employment so you couldn’t fire Angie over that. And you should have told Angie’s clients that their investments were perfectly safe. You damaged her reputation.”
Today’s column is based on a case from Nova Scotia. If you have a similar problem, please contact (sponsor) or another lawyer in your province. We are proud to bring you some of the current legal issues from across the country for discussion and debate. To provide compelling entertainment, we have fictionalized the names, the characters and the scenarios in the case. Any resemblance to real people is purely coincidental. In the interest of clarity and brevity, the legal issues in the case have been greatly reduced and simplified. Elissa Bernstein is a lawyer and nationally syndicated columnist. Copyright 2018 Haika Enterprises B34-9.