Tensions between a supervisor and what he perceived to be a noncompliant forklift driver reached a crescendo in the lunchroom. “What’s your problem,” the supervisor shouted. The driver responded with a smirk. I just “lost it,” the supervisor admitted, kicking the driver in the chest with his steel-toed boots. The driver, who wasn’t expecting the blow, had the wind taken out of him. But there was more to come. The supervisor followed him down the stairs and sent him reeling with an open-handed slap to the head. Despite the supervisor’s long and discipline-free record, the arbitrator had no difficulty finding just cause to terminate given the severity of the incident, the lack of provocation and the false and misleading statements he made during the investigation. Although the supervisor later apologized and expressed sincere remorse, by then it was too late to repair the damage to the employment relationship [Western Forest Products Inc. v United Steelworkers, Local 1-1937, 2018 CanLII 111681 (BC LA), Oct. 31, 2018].
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