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Demotion of Team Lead for Safety Infraction Was Excessive

A team lead was demoted for operating a company vehicle in an “extremely reckless manner” and for statements he made at a presentation to area firefighters. The union challenged the demotion as excessive. The Labour Relations Board said that pulling a truck up close to a co-worker loading another vehicle was very dangerous and justified discipline even though no one was hurt. And his statements at the meeting were basically a PR error. Given that the team lead had a prior good record and the safety infraction was an isolated incident, the Board ruled that a one week suspension was more appropriate than demotion [Atco Electric Ltd. v. Canadian Energy Workers Assn., [2012] CanLII 46402 (AB LRB), Aug. 10, 2012].