Termination warranted for rough horseplay

One employee’s “goofing around” was another’s harassment. This incident of horseplay, by a grievor with an unenviable record of discipline, left the arbitrator with no choice but to sustain the termination.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/08/2011

A worker at a pharmaceutical plant was fired after he jumped another employee from behind, restrained him, slapped him on the “ass” and then “dry-humped” him. The incident was captured on the employer’s security camera.

B.M. had almost seven years’ service at the pharmaceutical plant when he was fired on October 20, 2010. B.M. had 13 incidents of discipline on his record in the year leading up to his termination.

During the evening shift on October 14, 2010, a team of five workers — including B.M. — was blending raw materials. D.C., who was also in the group, was singing “All you need is love.” Stating that he would show him love, B.M. approached D.C. from behind. With a bag that he had stretched and twisted into a rope, B.M. corralled D.C. by looping the bag across D.C.’s neck and chest. B.M. pushed D.C. up against a skid, slapped him on the buttocks five times and then dry-humped him.