Eating extra pizza violated store policy but didn’t warrant dismissal, arbitrator rules

Worker ate pizza destined for garbage bin at the end of the day
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

A grocery store’s firing of a teenaged employee for eating extra pizza at the end of her shift was too harsh, an arbitrator has ruled.

A 16-year-old girl working for a Dominion grocery store in Toronto was fired on Jan. 26, 2006, for violating company policies. The policies were the store’s employee purchase policy, which stated all employees must purchase products at regular prices, and the theft policy, which stipulated any employee who takes any product without payment is subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. This included any perishable food which would be thrown out at the end of the day.

The store learned the employee, along with several others, had taken and eaten slices of pizza headed for the garbage when the store closed. When confronted, all the employees admitted they had eaten pizza without paying for it. All were suspended and ultimately fired.