Failure to provide interpreter not discriminatory

After an altercation with his supervisor, the grievor was suspended. He claimed that he was unable to understand what was happening because he was not given an interpreter during the disciplinary meeting. The arbitrator found his language skills were sufficient and that there had been no harassment.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 10/31/2011

A cleaner at an abattoir challenged two suspensions that were imposed on him and grieved that the suspensions constituted discrimination and harassment on the part of the employer.

G.Z. worked the overnight shift in the sanitation department at an abattoir. While G.Z. claimed he had worked for the employer since 1987, the disciplinary record filed by the employer dated G.Z.’s hire in 2005. G.Z.’s English language skills were limited.

G.Z. received a one-day suspension for his alleged behaviour on July 16, 2010. A supervisor said that G.Z. had aggressively come at him with his chest out while giving him the (middle) finger. A coworker stepped between the two and calmed G.Z. down. The supervisor said that G.Z. was angry over criticism that he had returned late from break, that he had failed to complete a task as ordered and that he had taken too long in the washroom.