Worker fired for stealing pair of work boots

The grievor was terminated for putting through two safety-boot reimbursements. As unlikely as the whole scenario appeared to the arbitrator, he still found the evidence convincing and upheld the discipline.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 04/16/2012

A municipal worker was fired after her employer said she photocopied and then resubmitted an order form so she could double up on her annual boot entitlement. The union grieved, arguing there was insufficient evidence to support the employer’s charge.

On June 6, 2011, municipal worker K.R. took a Uniform Order Form detailing items on her annual clothing allowance to the municipality’s authorized clothing distributor. The order could not be filled on the spot. K.R. was notified that the order was ready on June 14. K.R. acquired another Order Form from her employer authorizing a boot purchase. She went to the store at about 12:30 p.m. on June 21, 2011.

On July 14, a worker in the municipal accounting department approved an invoice for a boot purchase by K.R. on June 21. Later in the day, another invoice surfaced for another pair of the same boots apparently also sold to K.R. The invoices were numbered differently but both were signed by K.R.