First instance of misconduct not grounds for dismissal

|Canadian Employment Law Today

Chaba v. Ensign Drilling Inc. (2002), 116 A.C.W.S. (3d) 382 (Alta. Prov. Ct.)

Chaba brought an action for wrongful dismissal after his employment as a roughneck on the defendant’s drilling rig was terminated.

The main issue before the court was whether a failure to follow instructions or policy constituted just cause for dismissal. The defendant had a safety manual which specifically prohibited employees in his position from operating equipment without authorization. The manual stated failure to comply with this policy could result in immediate termination of employment.