School worker expelled

Worker can’t stick to story about why he took unscheduled break
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/06/2016

An arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of a British Columbia worker with previous discipline who was caught taking an unscheduled break and lying about it.

The worker was a caretaker for the Coquitlam School District in B.C., hired in 2006 on a casual basis and promoted to regular caretaker in 2009. In March 2013, the worker was suspended for five days without pay for a series of incidents resulting in a breach of trust. Two weeks after that, he was given another five-day suspension for taking an unscheduled break. Following that latter suspension, the worker was instructed to follow all of the school district’s policies, procedures and guidelines. He was transferred to a new school with the assignment of cleaning the main floor of the school and warned that further incidents involving breach of trust wouldn’t be tolerated.

Supervisors occasionally stopped by the school to check how things were going or to inspect the school, but for the most part the worker was on his own for most of his shift, as with most caretakers. He worked an afternoon shift from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., with scheduled breaks at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.