An employee's persistent mockery and intimidating conduct
towards a supervisor warranted a 6-month suspension, an arbitrator
The employee's conduct included the following:
On one occasion, after the supervisor
greeted him, the employee started hollering aggressively at him,
"Oh that's the way it's gonna be ... Hi Dan, Oh Hi
Dan, How are you." The employee continued to yell at the
supervisor until he was far enough away that he could not hear
The next week, the employee was
parked nearby and when he saw the supervisor, he rolled his window
down and started hollering an aggressive and sarcastic greeting to
The next week, the supervisor met up
with the employee who gave him a similarly aggressive
When the supervisor was leaving work
at the end of another day, the employee drove up in a truck so that
he was close to the supervisor and rolled his window down and
aggressively and sarcastically greeted him.
On another occasion, the supervisor
observed the employee see him, and said "good morning"
and he replied with the aggressive greeting. The employee continued
with the loud aggressive greeting until the supervisor unlocked the
door to the stores area and went in.
Another day, the employee approached
the supervisor and loudly greeted him, interrupting his
conversation with another worker.
Lastly, on another occasion, the
employee very loudly and aggressively called out to the supervisor
and carried on with an aggressive and bullying greeting. This
continued until the supervisor had reached the doorway that exits
into a hallway.
The supervisor reported that the employee's conduct was
causing him to have trouble concentrating, he wasn't sleeping,
and his wife was concerned for their safety. He went to see his
doctor and was referred for counselling.
The arbitrator found that the employee's conduct appeared to
relate to the supervisor's efforts to bring some efficiency to
an area of the company's operations that was "in
demonstrable need of change". The employee admitted that he
had been deliberately sarcastic, that he knew his conduct was
unwelcome, and that he had tried to get under the supervisor's
skin. The arbitrator decided that his conduct violated the
company's violence and harassment policy.
The arbitrator stated that the employee's conduct was
"juvenile and unworthy of a 12 year old, let alone a man in
his 50s. It also however had a goading, threatening quality to
The arbitrator concluded, however, that the employee's
conduct was "more immature than intentionally
threatening". Also, had the supervisor warned the employee
right away or reported the incidents under the violence and
harassment policy (he said that he had not reported because he
"did not want to make trouble" and feared how the
employee would react), the employee might have changed his
Given that, and the employee's 34 years of service, the
arbitrator reinstated the employee with no back pay, resulting in a
six-month suspension without pay. The employee was given "one
last opportunity to show he can conduct himself in a civil and
respectful way in his workplace."
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