Bad behaviour, not mental disability, reason for dismissal

Employee's alcoholism didn't play a role in dismissal for threatening behaviour: Tribunal
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/31/2012

A British Columbia employer had just cause to dismiss an employee for making profane and threatening calls to other employees, despite the employee’s claims of a mental disability as a factor in the dismissal, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has ruled.

The employee was a driver of a HandyDART bus for MVT Canadian Bus in Vancouver. HandyDART buses provide door-to-door shared rides for people with physical or mental disabilities that require help using public transit.

The bus driver claimed to suffer from stress, depression and alcoholism. On March 17, 2011, he was the subject of complaints from two customers. Feeling stressed, the bus driver pulled himself off his route and left his vehicle at the union hall. When he got home, he started drinking for the first time in three years. While he was drinking, he called his chief dispatcher and left a message saying he would be sick the next day. In the message, he called the dispatcher names and threatened her.