Safety & HCM Post

Firing Veteran Supermarket Clerk for Petty Theft Is “Sad” but Legal

The union agreed that a grocery clerk’s habit of helping himself to free tea and snacks at supermarket expense was grounds for discipline but claimed that termination was excessive—especially for a 59-year-old veteran with 45 years of service. The arbitrator disagreed. While petty theft of tea, donuts and chips might be trivial in other settings, it’s typically recognized as grounds for dismissal in grocery given the industry’s vulnerability to employee dishonesty. And the clerk’s failure to come clean didn’t help. This is a “very sad” and “difficult” case, the arbitrator acknowledged in upholding the termination [United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 v Sobey’s West Inc. (Safeway Operations), 2017 CanLII 61767 (AB GAA), Sept. 5, 2017].

Bongarde Editorial

Bongarde Editorial

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