Worker buckles under pressure to buckle up

Worker claimed he was wearing seatbelt until just before supervisor saw him driving without one
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/06/2016

This instalment of You Make the Call involves a worker who was accused of violating company safety policy by not wearing a seat belt.

The worker was employed with Montreal-based aluminum manufacturer Rio Tinto Alcan at a facility in British Columbia. He was hired in 1981 and was active in various union positions during his tenure, as well as the B.C. facility’s occupational health and environment committee and chair of the internal union safety council. His roles made him a self-described “safety conscious guy” and he had a reputation of being hard on safety issues.

Rio Tinto Alcan had many safety rules for its facilities and it issued a recommended discipline guide that outlined types of misconduct and the discipline that might result. The guide wasn’t agreed to by the union, and was considered a list of minimum responses to misconduct. The worker had no instances of discipline on his record.