Labour board shuts down Vernon, B.C., attempt to remove fire captain

Captain was fired after having sex with another employee in office, but arbitrator found it too harsh
By The Canadian Press
|employmentlawtoday.com|Last Updated: 10/09/2019
Two employees were caught on video having sex in the fire chief's office. Oleg Podzorov/Shutterstock

VERNON, B.C. (CP) -- The City of Vernon has lost another attempt to oust a fire captain after he had consensual sex with another employee in the fire chief's office that was caught on video.

The city went to the Labour Relations Board asking it to overturn an arbitration board decision that ruled the employees were wrongfully dismissed and should be reinstated.

The arbitration board found that while the employees' conduct was worthy of harsh discipline, the dismissal was excessive.

The city then went to the Labour Relations Board saying it was denied a fair hearing and the ruling was inconsistent with the labour code, but the board denied both arguments and dismissed the review of the decision.

The city says in a statement released Monday that it continues to believe its decision was the correct one and that having sex with a subordinate while on duty in the fire hall must be grounds for termination.

The statement says the city is considering its options to further appeal the reinstatement decision.

The captain was reinstated with a five-month disciplinary suspension and a three-year temporary disciplinary demotion to the rank of firefighter.

The dispatcher was also ordered reinstated but the city had since contracted out dispatch services so the city was ordered to compensate the woman for the severance or any other payment she would have received when her job was terminated.

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