In Levi Strauss & Co. v. Workers United Canada Council, 2020 CanLII 44271 (ON LA), Arbitrator Luborsky upheld the employer’s decision to terminate an employee for yelling racial slurs at a Black co-worker. Although the employee was protected under a collective agreement, Arbitrator Luborsky nonetheless found the misconduct to be serious enough to bypass all other progressive steps of discipline outlined in the agreement, ranging from verbal and written warnings to suspension. In finding that termination fell within the range of reasonable disciplinary sanctions, Arbitrator Luborsky also considered the premeditated nature of the offense along with the employee’s clean disciplinary record, lengthy service of 23 years, and denial of wrongdoing.
Blue J correctly predicted the outcome of termination, based on several factors including:
The conduct at issue was premeditated
There were multiple components to the employee’s misconduct
The employee denied any wrongdoing