An employer’s tacit tolerance of hot-tempered behaviour: reinstatement ordered

Release date: September 2, 2014

An industrial mechanic challenged his dismissal following insulting and slanderous remarks he posted on Facebook regarding a coordinator. As mentioned by the arbitrator, calling this coordinator a “damned hypocrite” and calling on the idea of “starting a petition to get her to f… off” certainly qualify as slanderous statements and an affront to her dignity. These cheap, premeditated remarks cannot be excused by virtue of the employee’s hot temper. However, the latter acknowledged the seriousness of his offence and expressed sincere regret. In addition, the employer did not intervene in the past, when the coordinator had reported the employee’s behaviour towards her on several occasions. According to the arbitrator, in such a permissive environment, it would be unjust for the employer to suddenly decide to intervene with the ultimate penalty against the employee, especially since the latter had 7 years’ seniority and an empty disciplinary file. The employee was reinstated without compensation.

ArcelorMittal Mines Canada v. United Steelworkers, Local 5778 (F. Landry) 2014EXPT-986, DTE 2014T-370 (T.A.) Me François Hamelin

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