A millwright who violated his employer's "Cardinal
Rules" by committing a lock-out violation, deserved a
six-month suspension and with a last-chance stipulation, an
arbitrator has held. The company's decision to dismiss
the employee was overturned.
The employer had five Cardinal Rules of safety. Cardinal
Rule #3 read, "Isolation and lock out procedures must always
The employee could not locate the switch to turn off electrical
power to equipment that he was asked to fix. He decided that
instead of locating and isolating the power source, he would
disconnect electrical wires and put tape on the exposed
wiring. Apparently the tape came off one of the wires and it
touched another wire which caused sparks and an electrical short.
No one was injured.
Three months earlier, the employee had received a one-day
suspension for what the arbitrator called an "identical first
The arbitrator found that both safety violations occurred in
low-risk situations. There was no injury, no damage to property and
no evidence of lost production. The employee's decision
was influenced by his desire to complete the task in the time
alloted to him and not for selfish reasons. At the same time,
the arbitrator acknowledged that his decision must deter other
employees from violating safety rules. The arbitrator
reinstated the employee with a six-month suspension, and
imposed a condition that should the employee "commit any
safety violation" in the one year following his reinstatement,
the employer would have just cause to dismiss him.
Dentons is a global firm driven to provide you with the
competitive edge in an increasingly complex and interconnected
marketplace. We were formed by the March 2013 combination of
international law firm Salans LLP, Canadian law firm Fraser Milner
Casgrain LLP (FMC) and international law firm SNR Denton.
Dentons is built on the solid foundations of three highly
regarded law firms. Each built its outstanding reputation and
valued clientele by responding to the local, regional and national
needs of a broad spectrum of clients of all sizes –
individuals; entrepreneurs; small businesses and start-ups; local,
regional and national governments and government agencies; and
mid-sized and larger private and public corporations, including
international and global entities.
Now clients benefit from more than 2,500 lawyers and
professionals in 79 locations in 52 countries across Africa, Asia
Pacific, Canada, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and
the CIS, the UK and the US who are committed to challenging the
status quo to offer creative, actionable business and legal
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. Specific Questions relating to
this article should be addressed directly to the author.
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.
Labour and employment law had some interesting developments in 2016. What follows are a few highlights from the last year and an introduction to an issue that may attract significant attention in 2017.
Businesses and employers face exposure to a variety of claims for mismanagement or misuse of personal information by employees. Damages may depend on how sensitive the information is and how it is misused.
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).