Hungry children don’t outweigh thieving cook’s dishonesty

Cook needed food for step-children's lunches from company fridges
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 11/30/2011

An Ontario employer was entitled to fire a kitchen worker who stole food for his stepchildren, the Ontario Arbitration Board has ruled.

Bill Stanton was a cook for Compass Group, a food services provider operating a dining hall at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont. The facilities in the hall included walk-in fridges and a freezer, which were kept locked overnight and unlocked at the start of the day. Employees were expected to follow company policy that company property couldn’t be removed without written authorization from the manager.

Stanton worked a day shift on Nov. 29, 2010, starting 30 minutes before the supervisor showed up in the morning. Shortly after he arrived at work, his wife called to tell him the biological father of his two step children, aged four and seven, had dropped them off without lunch as he was supposed to. Stanton’s wife was upset because they didn’t have any food appropriate for their lunch.