Sleeping worker saved by mitigating factors

The grievor’s misconduct was serious, but his long service weighed in his favour. Further, inconsistency in the employer’s response to the events and exaggeration in its case against the grievor prompted the arbitrator to reinstate him.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 06/24/2011

Fired after he was caught sleeping on the job, a control room operator grieved his termination.

Hired in 1989, C.H. worked as a Control Room Operator at a plant that produces chemical refrigerants used in air conditioning systems.

The manufacturing process is potentially extremely hazardous. A significant release into the atmosphere of either of the key component chemicals — Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) and Perchloroethylene DG (PCE) — could necessitate evacuations, the closure of adjacent highways and, possibly, the St. Lawrence Seaway.