‘When you gotta go...’ doesn’t wash with arbitrator

Employee caught relieving himself in janitor's closet
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/29/2013

A British Columbia employer had just cause to dismiss an employee who was caught urinating in a janitor’s storage room, an arbitrator has ruled.

The employer was a bakery and the employer had worked for the bakery for 23 years, involved in the production of baked goods for sale. He mostly worked in the production area at the rear of the bakery. Beside the production area was a small room where materials for cleaning the store were kept, as well as paints and other chemicals. The floor of the room featured an open floor sink which the janitor used to drain away paints and other liquids. Usually, the janitor was the only employee who used the room.

In July 2011, a female co-worker went to the janitor’s room to fill a spray bottle with cleaning solution. When she entered the room, she discovered the employee standing in front of the floor sink urinating. She asked him, “Are you taking a leak?” to which he replied “the boys are bad” or “the boys can’t wait,” according to the co-worker. The co-worker obtained the cleaning solution and left the room.