OK to Fire Workers for Horseplay and Unreported Forklift Incident


Two workers—the most senior on duty—talked and played “beer baseball” with cans of beer while they should’ve been working. Then one worker ran a power jack into a forklift the other was operating. Although the forklift was damaged, neither worker reported it. Their antics were caught on video and they were fired. An arbitrator upheld their termination. Beer baseball posed a serious safety hazard but the workers downplayed it. They also claimed that the forklift incident was an accident when it appeared to be intentional. And as senior workers aware of the company’s rules and safety policies, they should’ve behaved better [United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1400 v. Brewers’ Distributer Ltd., [2010] CanLII 33227 (SK L.A.), June 17, 2010].