He must choose between his beard and his job

Release date: March 4, 2014

A sorter in a recycling plant challenged his dismissal. The evidence showed that, following an intervention report by the CSST, the employer was compelled to implement a respiratory protection program and make the wearing of masks mandatory. In order to ensure its effectiveness, employees are obliged to be closely shaven in all paces where the mask is in contact with their face. Faced with the stubborn refusals by the employee to comply with this new directive, the employer had no other alternative but to terminate his employment. According to the arbitrator, the employer had to comply with the legal obligation issued by the CSST. In addition, he made serious efforts to find alternatives so as not to interfere with the employee’s rights. Considering the nature of the job, no protective device could be used as an accommodation for the employee. Based on case law, the arbitrator ruled that it was reasonable for the employer to demand that employees wear a mask and shave, in order to protect their health and safety. The grievance was rejected.

Rebuts solides canadiens Inc. v. Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (SCFP-301) (S. Dionne) 2014EXPT-78, DTE 2014T-33 (T.A.) Me Charles Turmel

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