Conditional Reinstatement for Workers Caught Nesting

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/06/2011

Rejecting as antiquated the proposition that automatic termination is the appropriate penalty in all cases for workers caught sleeping on the job, an arbitrator conditionally reinstated four personal support workers (PSWs) terminated by a long-term care facility.

Evidently surprised during an early morning, “shock and awe” visit by new managers, four PSWs at a 224-bed facility were discovered in various stages of repose.

One was sleeping in a darkened room, reclined, shoes removed on an improvised bed formed with chairs. Another was discovered on a chair with blankets, “sleepy-faced” after being nudged to wakefulness by yet another worker who, after being surprised in a reclined position with eyes closed, awoke to alert her colleague who was around the corner. Another PSW was discovered in a hallway in another part of the facility sleeping on two opposing chairs.