Worker’s Dangerous Shortcut Warranted Serious Discipline But Not Termination

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A worker was out of position and didn’t want to cause a production delay. So he took a dangerous shortcut to his workstation. The employer gave him 75 demerit points for the infraction, putting him over the 100 limit and resulting in his firing. An arbitrator ruled, however, that the company should’ve only given him 35 demerit points. The worker’s shortcut was very dangerous. But he’d never been disciplined in his 33-year career for a safety violation. In addition, the company’s point system was arbitrary and inconsistent in many ways. Thus, the worker’s demotion and wage reduction were adequate discipline under the circumstances [Essar Steel Algoma Inc. v. United Steelworkers Local 2251, [2011] CanLII 11128 (ON L.A.), March 7, 2011].