Off Duty Conduct Warrants Termination

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/09/2011

Charged with and subsequently convicted of two Criminal Code violations for the off-duty operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, a New Brunswick school bus driver was fired from her job.

While the union grieved, arguing that termination was excessive for the six-year employee with a clean record of employment, the employer countered that the driver's lack of candour about the two off-duty incidents and the potential negative effect on the reputation of the bus service made her continued employment untenable.

R.L., a single mother with two children, started as a school bus driver for School District 10 in 2002 after four years of driving tractor trailers and dump trucks. Hired as an hourly driver with no duties other than driving, until 2008 R.L. had no record of disciplinary action by the employer, no criminal convictions and no prior driving infractions.