Dismissal of insubordinate worker not a progressive step

Worker with clean record disobeyed management directive and lied about it but employer didn’t follow its stated policy of progressive discipline
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 05/23/2018

A New Brunswick employer must pay a former worker 10 months’ wages for failing to follow progressive discipline when it fired him for not obeying a direction not to drive vehicles at work while the worker’s licence was suspended.

Steeve Roy, 45, was an operations technician at the Bathurst, N.B., airport run by Northern New Brunswick Airport. The airport was regional and provided airplane service to the northeastern area of New Brunswick and was subject to the various standards, regulations, procedures, and laws under Transport Canada and related legislation. The airport's main customer was Air Canada, while it also served charter flights, air ambulances, and as a training facility for air cadets and reservists.

Roy’s job involved providing meteorological information and status reports on runway conditions to pilots, inspecting aircraft after landing and before takeoff, refuelling aircraft, and managing activity on the tarmac during the loading and unloading of aircraft. He and other operations technicians were the first line for emergency response at the airport and at the start of the day, the operations technician was often the only employee onsite.