Employer Could Fire Cocaine-Addict Worker Who Stole

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An employer fired a worker for stealing company property and selling it. The union claimed that the worker was disabled by a cocaine addiction and stole to support his habit. The arbitrator said that premeditated theft is an offence that strikes at the very foundation of the trust between an employer and worker. Although drug addiction is a disability, it doesn’t protect a worker from the consequences of his misconduct unless there’s a clear connection between the disability and the misconduct. In this case, the worker had the financial resources to feed his addiction without stealing from his employer. So there was no causal connection between his cocaine addiction and the thefts. As a result, the employer’s firing of him was justified and appropriate [Toronto Transit Commission v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, [2011] CanLII 49050 (ON L.A.), Aug. 6, 2011].