Ontario truck driver fired after accident, speeding ticket reinstated

Failure to remain at scene or report accident not grounds for suspension; Second incident not enough for discipline
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 09/10/2019
Employer overdid it by firing truck driver for minor accidents and a speeding ticket. Shutterstock

An Ontario trucking company jumped to termination of a driver too fast following a couple of accidents and a speeding ticket, an arbitrator has found.

Charles Cartwright was a truck driver for K-Town Delivery, a trucking company operating out of Kingston, Ont. Cartwright was employed with K-Town Delivery for about four years and received two written warnings in August and October 2018 about his poor attendance record.

K-Town delivery had rules for drivers to follow, including “at fault” accidents subject to discipline “ranging from warning to dismissal;” police charges while on duty subject to suspension; and failing to complete an accident report would lead to dismissal. Speeding while on duty was also subject to dismissal, even on a first offence, according to the rules. These rules were strictly enforced, as any traffic infractions or accidents involving the company’s drivers affected the company’s commercial vehicle operators registration (CVOR) with the Ontario Ministry of Transporation.