Termination excessive for workplace threats

Despite the fact that the grievor's threats against coworkers were specific and repeated, the arbitrator reinstated him. The decision by the company to treat similar threats with suspensions was crucial in the ruling.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 04/02/2012

A worker at a meat processing plant was fired after making a number of threats against coworkers.

J.D. was a shipper/receiver at a meat processing plant. He was hired in 1996. There was no discipline on his record when he was fired on June 24, 2011. However, J.D. did have a reputation for “talking tough” and “shooting his mouth off.”

J.D. returned to work in May 2011 after an eight-month medical leave. The plant J.D. returned to was considerably more crowded and chaotic. It was also less cohesive. New construction was underway at the plant and the employer had temporarily brought in a number of employees from a nearby plant it had closed.