- All employees were advised of the Public Agency Health of Canada’s guidelines regarding COVID-19;
- The guidelines required that employees isolate while waiting for the results of a lab test for COVID- 19;
- The grievor was tested on April 6th;
- The grievor initially stated that she stayed off work on April 6, 7 and 8 while awaiting the results of her test;
- The employer discovered that the grievor’s statement was false and that she was at work on April 6th; and
- The grievor was unremorseful when confronted, and again during the arbitration hearing, and insisted that she attended at work because she didn’t feel sick.
The arbitrator considered all the factors, including that it was inconceivable that the grievor would not have been aware of the consequences of spreading the virus and that she put her colleagues and others, including the flying public, at risk. This, combined with her lack of remorse, led to a finding that there was just cause for dismissal.
Every case will be decided based upon its own particular facts, so while this is a helpful decision, one should not assume that every situation where an employee fails to follow the guidelines will warrant summary dismissal. If you are an employer considering discipline or dismissal, speak with an Employment Lawyer before making a decision that could lead to liability. And if you are an employee that has been disciplined or dismissed, you should get proper legal advice to ensure that your rights have not been breached. Feel free to contact us and make arrangements to speak with a member of our team.