Termination for Bad Driving Disproportionate to Offence

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/08/2011

Following a bad week behind the wheel, which included shredding the tires and damaging the rims on his truck by running over an exposed pipe, hitting a house and crushing a flower box, a municipal water truck driver was fired. The union grieved.

The employer said the termination was justified in view of the heightened vigilance towards safety adopted by the municipality in the wake of the recommendations of a Coroner’s Inquest that had examined two recent fatalities involving City vehicles.

The short period of time over which the incidents occurred set off red flags according to the Employer and the worker’s failure to remain at the scene of one of the accidents — minor though it was — aggravated the offence. The Employer said the worker had become a serious safety risk and in view of his relatively short tenure with the City, termination was reasonable.