Should employee have been sent home?

Co-worker thought meat cutter smelled of alcohol
|Canadian Employment Law Today

This instalment of You Make the Call takes a look at a case where a worker was sent home after the employer thought it smelled alcohol on him. Mr. Palmateer was a bone cutter with Midtown Meats Ltd. in Ontario.

On Oct. 5, 2005, he was sent home for smelling like alcohol. Palmateer filed a grievance arguing there wasn’t sufficient basis to send him home without pay.

The production team manager had received a report from another employee that morning that Palmateer had shown up smelling of alcohol. The manager met with Palmateer and a union steward and both said they could smell alcohol. The manager said she could not determine whether Palmateer was able to safely perform his job duties, which involved using sharp knives on a production line. He was sent home for the balance of his shift.