Last chance termination does not violate code

The grievor had violated his last chance agreement and been terminated. The union argued that this constituted a failure to accommodate him. The arbitrator ruled that last chance agreements were bona fide occupational requirements and deserved deferrence.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 03/19/2012

A worker with a history of substance abuse problems was terminated when he failed to comply with his last chance agreement. The union grieved, arguing that the termination violated the employer’s duty to accommodate the worker’s disability to the point of undue hardship.

J.D. was a heavy equipment operator employed by a municipality. He had about 21 years of service when he was terminated on April 1, 2011. J.D. had problems with substance abuse. The employer intervened a number of times over the course of his employment with the city to help J.D. with his addictions.

J.D. was fired on July 9, 2010. The union grieved and he was reinstated under the terms of a last chance agreement that was signed on Dec. 1, 2010.