An employment dispute that began with allegations of ‘chronic lateness’ has ended up sapping six years form one employee’s life. And it isn’t over yet.
Ajay Misra, who was wrongfully fired back in April 2009 after a dispute with a supervisor, finally received an overdue arbitration finding last week.
Though Misra was reinstated in June 2014, he has since been waiting to find out why he was not awarded back pay for his five years out of work.
The 240-page ruling, delivered by arbitrator Maureen Saltman, said Misra’s “half-truths, inconsistencies, improbabilities and skilful manipulation of the facts” during the arbitration was “proper basis for denial of compensation”.
However, Misra denies Saltman’s claims, telling the Toronto Star that the case had caused him to “lose six years of his life”, and that the ruling essentially tried to justify a “five-year suspension without pay”.
Misra told the Toronto Star he would now resort to the court system after the long six-year arbitration process, in the hope of receiving back pay.
Saltman was first appointed as arbitrator on the wrongful dismissal dispute back in June 2010, with arbitration hearings finalised by July 2012.
The Labour Relations Act gives arbitrators 30 days to deliver decisions.
Misra was reinstated in June 2014 via a short two paragraph email, the Toronto Star reports, but was given no back pay for the five years.
It has taken Saltman (who broke a self-imposed deadline of October 2014, resigned from the Arbitrator’s Association, and also faced a divisional court lawsuit over the delay) until last week to deliver the findings.
The labour arbitration system is designed to cut the time and cost associated with court employment disputes, by directing them to arbitration.
Misra, a Harvard-educated budget analyst, was fired in 2009 after a supervisor accused him of chronic lateness, and he allegedly threatened to “break” her in return as he had done her predecessors.
Misra then also failed to leave the meeting room, despite being asked to by the supervisor repeatedly.
Saltman’s findings include a ruling that the threat to break the supervisor “fell short of providing just cause” for dismissal, which led to Misra’s reinstatement.