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Patient Safety Infractions Don’t Justify Termination but Cover-Up Does

A nursing home aid makes a series of mistakes while attempting to shower a resident—letting water get into his throat, failing to check the water temperature and banging him on the leg while moving him back to bed. But in the arbitrator’s eyes the worst thing she does is trying to cover up the incident and then telling only half-truths about it later. This lack of candor, in the arbitrator’s opinion, nullifies the aid’s previous 9+ years of spotless service and justifies the employer’s decision to fire her because she can no longer be trusted [Good Samaritan Society v Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, 2018 CanLII 86170 (AB GAA), Sept. 4, 2018].