Secret recordings that prove expensive

Release date: July 4, 2017

A factory employee challenged his dismissal for having recorded conversations involving his co-workers, his supervisors, his union and expert physicians. In some cases, he was involved in the conversations while, in others, he was not. The arbitrator noted that the employee’s sole purpose was to benefit himself in order to prove that he had sustained a work-related injury. His view was that, by acting this way, the employee had violated his duty of loyalty to the employer. Also, according to the arbitrator, his actions were such as to hinder the arbitration process, which is one of the foundations of labour relations. By recording other people’s conversations, he could violate their right to privacy. Thus the arbitrator described the employee’s actions as: “extremely stupid, inappropriate and illegal acts.” The arbitrator noted the seriousness of the employee’s actions and their criminal connotation, and concluded that the employer was justified in terminating his employment. The grievance was rejected.

Unifor, Local 1999 v. Owens Corning Celfortec, I.p., DTE 2016T-891, 2016 QCTA 781, Marc Gravel Esq

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