Knife-wielding corrections officer fired – but not for long

Officer was stressed, drunk when he had domestic dispute
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 03/12/2014

Often employers take a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to employees’ actions when they’re away from work. And why not? But when an employee’s actions while off-duty are serious enough to get him in legal trouble, sometimes the employer has to take notice. This is especially true if the misconduct could potentially affect the employee’s job and the employer’s ability to operate.

The occupation of corrections officer is one that has a higher standard of conduct both in and outside of the workplace, as serious misconduct can call into question an officer’s ability to do his job and put the corrections authority under fire publicly. But not always. Let’s take a look at an arbitrator’s decision from a couple of years ago where a Nova Scotia corrections officer faced assault charges stemming from a domestic dispute. The employer solution to the problem isn’t really surprising, but the arbitrator’s final decision may be.