Zero tolerance doesn’t automatically mean dismissal

Having zero tolerance for misconduct can mean discipline for it rather than termination of employment: Arbitrator
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 04/03/2013

A suspension was a more appropriate discipline than termination for a Saskatchewan employee’s failure to follow safety rules with plant machinery, an arbitrator has ruled.

Glen Kinequon, 52, worked as a beveler at the Regina plant for Evraz Canada, a steel company that produces plate and coil from recycled steel scrap. Kinequon, like all employees, was trained in proper procedures to lock out machinery.

On March 16, 2012, Kinequon was operating a beveler when his supervisor saw him shut off power and lift the lever to gain access to the machine. Before doing so, he didn’t follow proper safety procedure by inserting a lock though the switch arm to ensure the machine was locked in the off position. He opened the gate and stuck his arm through to feel a pipe he was beveling.