In McGraw v Southgate ( Township) 2021 ONSC 7000, Justice Chown had a situation where a female fire captain and admin assistant to the Chief for a volunteer fire department was terminated without cause because of many rumours in the workplace that she, among other things, sent nude photos of herself to various male firefighters, was having affairs with various male firefighters, including the Chief, was texting excessively with a male firefighter, was causing other firefighters to quit, caused morale problems in the workplace, gave passing grades to male firefighters in a course she taught if they had sex with her, helped a firefighter cheat on a test, and was the subject of rumours from other fire departments.
This was the explanation that the CAO gave to Council on why he had decided to terminate the Plaintiff’s employment. This evidence came in because the Council routinely recored its closed sessions and the Judge ruled that the part of the transcipt that related to the resons for her dismissal were not privileged.
None of these “rumours ” turned out to be factually correct.
In a scathing decision the Court went on to award the Plaintiff (in addition to 6 months notice) the following sums equalling $190,000:
Moral Damages : $75,000
Punitive Damages $60,000