Anger flares up between firefighters

Firefighter suspended for two weeks after scrap with captain
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 04/26/2012

A 14-day suspension for fighting with his captain was sufficient discipline for a Toronto firefighter, the Ontario Arbitration Board has ruled.

Ward Burchell joined the Toronto Fire Service in 2003. He was later assigned to a crew and truck headed by a Captain Heisler and remained a member of that crew for two years. Though Heisler gave Burchell positive performance appraisals, Burchell felt Heisler was harassing him with unfair criticism and Heisler believed in exercising strong authority, so they quickly grew to dislike each other.

Burchell often challenged Heisler’s authority and Heisler’s treatment of him came from a combination of hazing and dislike of his attitude. In June 2005, both firefighters filed complaints against each other. An investigation couldn’t find evidence of either and Burchell transferred to another truck and crew in 2006.