Liquor employee fired for stealing whisky

Employee blamed drug addiction but showed little incentive to deal with problem
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 02/09/2011

An Ontario liquor retailer that fired an employee for stealing booze from its warehouse acted appropriately, despite the former employee’s claims the dismissal was too harsh because he was addicted to drugs and alcohol, an arbitration board has ruled.

Gordon Carmichael, 35, worked in the operations department at the Durham Retail Service Centre, a warehouse for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) in Whitby, Ont. He was a seasonal worker but had worked on and off for the LCBO for eight years, unloading containers and filling store orders by putting together and moving cases of product on pallets with a forklift. Because of the large size of the warehouse and amount of product, there was little supervision of individual workers and it was difficult to track individual bottles, especially since some would occasionally break.