In an interesting case coming out of the New Zealand courts, a senior Pilot for Air Nelson, a subsidiary of Air New Zealand is pitted against a former flight attendant.  As reported, the two had sex during a stop-over and following a drinking binge at a hotel room.
The attendant claimed that she woke up in the Pilot’s bedroom and could not remember what happened but believed she had sex with him.  She filed a criminal complaint but police did not lay charges so she then complained to her employer.
Air Nelson decided to fire the Pilot citing serious misconduct, sexual harassment, failing to act responsibility, bullying and drinking alcohol with two crew members.  None of those allegations have been proven thus far.
For his part, the Pilot claims the sex was consensual.  An interesting segment of the cross examination of the attendant states that she ordered two breakfasts the following morning (implying that had she been harassed, why didn’t she just leave):
“I don’t remember that.”
“Just like that your memory stops?”
“Yes,” she said.
“Was this a case of you consenting to intercourse but regretting it afterwards and using the loss of memory as an excuse?”
“No, it wasn’t,” she said.
The hearing is likely to continue for the rest of the week.  In his claim, the Pilot seeks reinstatement.
In Canadian employment law, only unionized employees have a legal right to reinstatement.  This is typically negotiated into collective agreements, which are prevalent in the airline industry.  However, only about 30% of the Canadian workforce is unionized.  For the rest of the workforce, reinstatement is not an option.  Although it can be ordered in human rights cases, it is usually viewed as an exceptional remedy, reserved for few cases, if at all.  Therefore, in situations where an employee has been fired, with no notice or insufficient notice, or in cases where serious misconduct is alleged, the recourse would be through the courts in a wrongful dismissal claim.

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