Worker Was Not Insubordinate

Supervisor's instruction was not complete and unequivocal
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 01/27/2011

Awarded a one-day disciplinary suspension for failing to follow a supervisor’s directions on how to improvise a delivery at a particular location in the face of a temporary obstruction, a postal worker grieved the suspension.

R.F. was a mail carrier with 35 years’ experience. On September 2, 2009, her deliveries included three packages addressed to a particular residence. The items came with instructions directing the delivery person to “leave at door, do not card” — in other words, the mail carrier was not to leave a notice in the recipient’s community mail box inviting them to pick up the packages at the post office. The packages were to be delivered to the door.

When R.F. arrived at the location, she was unable to deliver the packages as directed. The house was set back some 50 feet from the road and the driveway, which was in the process of being resurfaced, was blocked by cones. There was a large grassy field adjacent to the property, but no obvious alternate access.