Termination excessive for procedure violation

The grievor was terminated for allegedly neglecting her job of screening baggage at an airport while chatting with a coworker. The arbitrator found that any inattention was not deliberate and that termination was too severe a penalty.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 11/26/2012

An airport security Screening Officer was fired for violating standard operating procedures after it was determined that her attention was focused on a conversation she was having with a co-worker rather than on the baggage being processed by the X-ray scanner.

K.C. was employed as a Screening Officer at a large airport. K.C. had been trained and recertified as required by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). She had seven years’ service when she was fired on Dec. 1, 2011. There was no discipline on her record.

On Nov. 18, 2011, a CATSA Oversight Officer (OO) was making her rounds of the terminal to monitor employee performance and ensure compliance with CATSA Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).