Did Safety Officer Quit or Did He Get Fired?
Management asked its safety officer to add water pumping procedures to the Safety Manual; the safety officer explained, rightly, that the firm didn’t need it since, as subcontractor, it had to follow the prime contractor’s pumping procedure anyway. The simmering dispute finally boiled over when the safety officer told his boss to “f*** off.” A few moments later, the boss sent him a text: “Don’t bother coming in either. . . Thanks for your services have good day.” So, he cleaned out his office and never returned. The firm claimed the text was just a heat of the moment thing and that the safety officer’s subsequent failure to return amounted to a resignation. But the court didn’t buy it finding the text to be a “clear and unequivocal” termination. Even though the firm urged the safety officer talk it out with the boss, it never offered him his job back. And while the safety officer’s imprudent behaviour warranted discipline, termination was excessive given his unblemished work record and the fact that he was right about the pumping procedure [Bohnet v Rebel Energy Services Ltd., 2018 ABPC 131 (CanLII), June 14, 2018].