Privacy commissioner employee given 10-day suspension for insubordination

Suspension upheld for employee who didn't co-operate with co-workers and superiors
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 09/05/2012

The office of the information and privacy commissioner of Canada (OIPC) had reasonable grounds to suspend an employee for 10 days after repeated insubordinate behaviour, a labour arbitrator has ruled.

Lynne Chauvin was a paralegal in the legal services directorate for the OIPC. Initially hired for administrative work in 2007, she was considered a good employee and stuck to timelines. However, when she was appointed as a paralegal a few years after her hiring, the OIPC began having problems with her.

In 2010, Chauvin was disciplined for not co-operating with her supervisor, for which she was suspended for one day. On another occasion, she served a five-day suspension for not allowing her colleagues in the office to access the records and documents information management system. She also submitted unfinished work and didn’t work well with co-workers on projects. Each time Chauvin was suspended, the OIPC gave her a letter warning that further misconduct could lead to more severe discipline, including termination of employment.