Firing bus driver for giving gift to young girl too extreme, arbitrator rules

Arbitrator says driver not dangerous, just guilty of bad judgment
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

An arbitrator has ruled termination was excessive discipline for a Nova Scotia bus driver who gave a young student a gift basket.

The 54-year-old drove a route which included a stop at a Halifax private school. On Nov. 9, 2005, a 13-year-old female student who was a regular on his route gave him a bag of cookies because he was changing routes. It was her habit to give cookies to people as a thank-you gift. The driver, who suffered from depression, was moved by the gift and he put together a bag of treats including candy, a flower and a small teddy bear.