Worker’s Bullying Warranted Discipline But Not Dismissal

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A worker insulted a co-worker’s sexual orientation and “chest-bumped” him. In a second incident, the worker took off his hard hat and safety glasses and told another worker that if he wanted to fight, “have a go.” (There wasn’t a fight.) As a result, the company fired him. The arbitrator concluded that although the company had grounds to discipline the worker, it wasn’t justified in dismissing him. Instead, the company should’ve applied its progressive discipline policy. So the arbitrator reduced the dismissal to a five-day suspension [North American Mining Inc. v. Union of Operating Engineers, Local 955 (Dow Grievance), [2010] A.G.A.A. No. 11, March 31, 2010].