In 2010, Ms. Brake was again given an overall “excellent”
rating. However, she was given a rating of “satisfactory” for the
second half of that year. Comments in her review for the first
half of 2010 include:
Esther, this is the best start to a new year I’ve ever seen you put together.
You have the store running the best I’ve seen. Your CSO scores are below
the national and regional average and way ahead of last year. . . . Also for
the first time, both the McDonald’s and PJ-M2R scorecards are outstanding.
 “CSO” is a McDonald’s restaurant measurement metric
that stands for “Customer Service Opportunities”. It is expressed
as a percentage of visits that miss one or more of five critical
drivers: quality, friendly, accurate, fast and clean. The lower the
CSO rating, the better the score.
 In November 2011, Ms. Brake received her first truly
negative performance review since her promotion to restaurant
manager in 2004. The trial judge accepted her evidence that
she was “dumbfounded” and “shocked”. During the review,
Mr. McKenna told Ms. Brake that she would be transferred to
the Wal-Mart location. At trial, Mr. McKenna explained that
his decision to transfer her was an attempt to provide an opportunity for Ms. Brake to improve her performance.
 The trial judge accepted Ms. Brake’s evidence that the
Wal-Mart location was more difficult to manage because there
was high staff turnover and less staffing, which meant the manager on duty was expected to cook, serve customers and keep the
 The Wal-Mart location had been “trending badly” since at
least April 2011. According to McDonald’s corporate documentation, that location had failed eight out of 12 customer service
opportunities that year. It ranked 1,410 out of 1,437 McDonald’s
restaurants in Canada.
 Mr. McKenna knew the Wal-Mart location was struggling
and that for Ms. Brake to succeed she would have to first “turn
that place around”.
 Ms. Brake moved to the Wal-Mart location around the
end of November 2011. She says it is undisputed that she
worked 12-hour days, seven days a week, from November 2011
to April 2012, and never asked for overtime.
 On April 16, 2012, Ms. Brake was summoned to a
three-month review meeting. She was rated as “needs improvement” and told that because of her performance, she would be
placed in McDonald’s progressive discipline program, known as
the goals achievement process (“GAP”). The GAP document that
she was given said that she had been placed in the program
because her performance had declined to an “unsatisfactory level”.