Intrusion into private information not justified

The arbitrator had ruled on the right of the employer to look at cell phone records, and he was asked to apply the ruling to several recent grievances. He found the company could inquire into all calls made over a shift when an accident had occurred, but not where productivity and not safety was at issue.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 11/13/2012

Sixteen months after an arbitration decision upheld a railway employer’s limited right to review employees’ personal cellphone records pursuant to an investigation into a serious accident or incident, the union grieved again.

The union charged that the employer was inappropriately expanding the scope of its demands for private information in order to investigate non-critical incidents.

The union said that the employer’s improper requests for information exceeded reasonable expectations on limitations to management’s rights in the collective agreement and violated the clear principles identified in the Arbitrator’s earlier decision in CROA&DR 3900.