Trusted Legal Advice for Employers Facing Discharge & Discipline Grievances
In a unionized workplace, disputes that arise between the parties are generally resolved through the grievance process. Every collective agreement contains a grievance and arbitration procedure which is intended to allow for a thorough and timely investigation of any disputes arising from the interpretation or alleged violation of the collective agreement.
For more than 30 years, the management side labour lawyers at Grosman Gale Fletcher Hopkins LLP have been helping unionized employers address workplace challenges before they become costly workplace problems. The experience, knowledge, and depth of understanding that our team has in this practice area are unparalleled.
Just Cause for Discipline or Termination
When faced with a grievance relating to discipline or termination, an employer must demonstrate (i.e. has the “onus” of demonstrating) that just cause existed for that discipline.
To make a final decision on discipline or termination, the arbitrator or arbitration board will consider several factors including the specific factual circumstances, as well as any aggravating or mitigating factors. An aggravating factor is anything that may lead to a harsher or more substantial penalty and can include dishonesty during the investigation process, failure to express remorse, or repeated misconduct taking place over a long period of time. A mitigating factor is anything that may lead to a lesser or more lenient penalty and can include a lack of previous discipline, provocation that led to the misconduct, or remorse following the misconduct.
Arbitrators will also consider whether the discipline was an appropriate response to the misconduct in question. Fundamentally, discipline is not intended to be punitive. Rather, the employer`s end goal should be deterrence as well as motivating employees to adhere to the standards of the workplace in question.
Contact Grosman Gale Fletcher Hopkins LLP in Toronto for Experienced Guidance with Discipline or Discharge Grievances
At Grosman Gale Fletcher Hopkins LLP our team of knowledgeable, highly-respected labour lawyers have been advising unionized employers about discipline or discharge grievances since 1983. We provide clients from across all sectors through the grievance process, advise on short-term and long-term strategy, and help maintain positive ongoing workplace relations. Contact us at 416-364-9599 or online to schedule a consultation.