An employee who had been previously disciplined for threatening
to bring "ammo" into work, was properly dismissed where
shortly afterwards he committed an unsafe act and was repeatedly
The "ammo" violence threat had resulted in a previous
arbitration award in which the arbitrator reinstated the employee
with a 128-day suspension and strict last-chance conditions. That
arbitrator, who found that the employee had lied to the employer in
its "ammo" threat investigation, had stated that "it
is sensible to make any reinstatement conditional on future good
Five days after being reinstated, the employee committed an
unsafe act at work in relation to the use of a "spreader
bar". He had also walked out of a meeting with company
management, and was again dishonest to his employer in the course
of its investigation. The employer fired the employee and the union
again grieved the firing.
Ruling on the second dismissal, Arbitrator Peter Chauvin held
that the grievor, who did not testify at the hearing, "has not
done anything to cause me to believe that he accepts that he did
anything wrong in connection with his use of the spreader bar, his
dishonest statements to Mr. Hastings, or his insubordination in
walking out of the meeting with Mr. Lepine, Mr. White and Mr.
Black. The Grievor has clearly not in any way acknowledged this
misconduct, and has not shown any remorse or offered any apology
for it. Again, and quite to the contrary, the Grievor denied that
he engaged in any such misconduct to Mr. Hastings, and chose to not
testify at the arbitration hearing. In doing so, he certainly did
not acknowledge his misconduct, or show remorse for it, at the
Arbitrator Chauvin also held that it was a "very serious
aggravating factor that the Grievor was not open and honest with
the Employer at the time of the investigation", particularly
as the previous arbitrator had held that the employee had been
dishonest in the employer's "ammo" investigation.
This decision demonstrates that employers are entitled to demand
honesty of employees during workplace investigations, and that
repeated dishonesty, whether or not combined with other
disciplinary offences, can justify dismissal.
FMC is one of Canada's leading business and litigation law
firms with more than 500 lawyers in six full-service offices
located in the country's key business centres. We focus on
providing outstanding service and value to our clients, and we
strive to excel as a workplace of choice for our people. Regardless
of where you choose to do business in Canada, our strong team of
professionals possess knowledge and expertise on regional, national
and cross-border matters. FMC's well-earned reputation for
consistently delivering the highest quality legal services and
counsel to our clients is complemented by an ongoing commitment to
diversity and inclusion to broaden our insight and perspective on
our clients' needs. Visit:
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
On Thursday, September 22, 2016, Dentons hosted a panel discussion about the management of liabilities and risks associated with environmental crises, including potential liabilities for directors and officers and provided insight into risk and liability techniques associated with environmental crisis management.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).