Late apology saves employee’s job

Threatening co-worker and denying it was serious misconduct but employee’s regret after suspension was enough: Arbitrator
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 04/26/2012

British Columbia employee’s late apology for threatening a co-worker didn’t excuse his attempt to mislead the employer’s investigation but warranted less punishment than dismissal, an B.C. arbitrator has ruled.

Glen Ford, 45, was a control room worker for Vancouver-based Teck Cominco Metals, having worked for the company off-and-on for 20 years. On June 23, 2011, Ford was working with three other male employees and a female summer student on the evening shift.

A few hours into the shift, the lead hand, Gordon Murdoch, asked Ford to grill some sausages that each worker had brought for their dinner in the lunchroom adjacent to the control room. One of the other workers had initially agreed to cook but he was caught up in some work. The summer student volunteered but admitted she had no experience barbecuing. Murdoch decided it would be best for Ford to do the grilling and told him to do it, but Ford resisted and made a vulgar comment about his pay grade and telling people what to do.