IMPLIED DUTIES OF EMPLOYER - Transfers

Law360 Canada (July 6, 2022, 5:46 AM EDT) -- Application by Nowlan for judicial review of the decision of the Federal Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board (“Board”) and its interpretation of the National Joint Council’s Relocation Directive (“Directive”). Nowlan was an employee working in the Ottawa office of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (“employer”). She made it known to her supervisor she would like to relocate and was prepared to be demoted in order to do so. Nowlan relocated and was demoted from an EC-07 position to a CO-02 position. Nowlan used eight days of her own leave and incurred relocation expenses. After her move, Nowlan claimed relocation expenses on her tax return, but her claim was rejected. Nowlan grieved the employer’s decision to deny her relocation expense claim and she claimed reimbursement of her eight days of leave. The Board allowed the grievance in part. The Board found Nowlan did not seek approval of all expenses before incurring them. However, the Board found Nowlan’s failure flowed from the employer’s mistaken decision that it could approve a relocation without approving the relocation expenses. On the issue of the eight days of unpaid leave, the Board applied s. 2.2.1.10 of the Directive, which required the employer to provide the employee with the leave necessary to carry out activities associated with the relocation. The Board awarded Nowlan eight days of pay at the maximum level of the CO-02 group pay scale that was in effect the year of her relocation....
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