Employer Not Liable for Union’s Delay in Settlement

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/04/2011

Two retirement residence workers were terminated for ignoring their employer’s request to stay beyond the end of their shift to deal with a fire alarm that occurred during shift change. The union grieved and was able to negotiate reinstatements in exchange for suspensions; however, the parties could not reach agreement on compensation because of a dispute over the workers’ date of return.

A fire alarm went off at a retirement residence. The employer asked two workers to stay beyond the end of their shift until the situation had been normalized, the source of the alarm identified and the residents made comfortable.

Neither of the workers heeded the request. After the fact, one of the workers claimed that she needed to catch a bus in order to make a scheduled appointment. The other just said she needed to catch a bus.