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  • CUB 44249

    IN THE MATTER OF the Employment Insurance Act,
    S.C. 1996, c. 23

    - and -

    IN THE MATTER OF a claim for unemployment benefits
    by Phat Lam

    - and -

    IN THE MATTER OF an appeal by the Claimant from a decision of the Board of Referees given on September 24, 1998 at London, Ontario

    D E C I S I O N


    Mr. Lam appeals from the decision of a Board of Referees dismissing his appeal from a Commission ruling that he was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because he had voluntarily left his employment without just cause. As no hearing has been requested the appeal is to be decided on the basis of the documents filed.

    Mr. Lam and seven other employees quit their jobs with Brite Millwork Inc. of Bolton, Ontario over a dispute about payment or non-payment of an incentive bonus for the shift they worked on June 24-25, 1998. The employer offered them half of the bonus as a compromise but the workers rejected the offer and quit their jobs.

    Mr. Garry F. White, a para-legal, has made a written submission to the Umpire of behalf of Mr. Lam. He contends there was a failure to observe a principle of natural justice. The contention is based on the fact that a two page letter from the employer that was faxed and mailed to the clerk of the Board of Referees eight days before the hearing was not given to Mr. Lam until the start of the hearing. Mr. Lam is Vietnamese. He and his brother, who appeared with him before the Board, do not have full command of English. Mr. White claims that Mr. Lam did not have the ability (and therefore the opportunity) to effectively respond to the employer's letter.

    The right to a fair hearing includes the right to know the case one has to meet, to fully present one's case, and to have an adequate opportunity to respond to submissions of an opposite party.

    In the circumstances I think I must find that there was a failure to observe a principle of natural justice.

    The appeal is allowed and the matter is referred back for re-hearing before a newly constituted Board of Referees.




    March 1, 1999