Long-time employee’s record of bad behaviour warranted firing

Employer recommended anger management after series of incidents but employee continued to cause problems at work
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

An Alberta company had just cause to fire a long-time employee with a history of bad behaviour, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has ruled.

Brian Dawson, 52, worked for Bridge Brand Food Services Ltd. for 30 years and was a grocery receiver in the company’s warehouse. Between 1996 and 2004, he received five formal reprimands and several warnings about his attitude and conduct which often involved vulgar language and loss of temper. The company discussed each incident with Dawson and recommended courses of action such as anger management. Dawson signed each report to indicate he understood the situation.

On Feb. 28, 2003, Dawson threatened a delivery driver and the delivery company informed Bridge Brand it was considering ending its business with them. Bridge Brand suspended Dawson for three days and warned him if this behaviour continued, he would be fired. The company made it clear it would not tolerate any more problems. “This is the last chance Brian will get — if it does happen again Brian will be terminated,” the report said.