CANADIAN RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
CASE NO. 1203
Heard at Montreal, Tuesday, March 6, 1984
VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
CANADIAN BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY, TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS
Employee required to pay the Corporation the sum of $171.00.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
On February 2, 1983, the grievor, Mr. M. Duchesneau, Counter Sales Agent I, Montreal, accepted a personal cheque of $171.00 from a VIA customer. The bank returned the cheque with the notation "N.S.F.". Following an investigation, the grievor was required, in accordance with the Corporation's policy, to pay the sum of $171.00.
The Corporation contends that, because the grievor did not follow the proper procedures when he accepted the cheque, he was required to bear the loss.
The Brotherhood maintains that the payment of $171.00 by the grievor to the Corporation is unacceptable and asks that this amount be returned to the grievor.
FOR THE BROTHERHOOD: FOR THE CORPORATION:
(SGD.) TOM McGRATH (SGD.) A. GAGNE
National Vice-President Director, Labour Relations
There appeared on behalf of the Corporation:
A. Leger – Manager, Labour Relations, Montreal
C. C. Bright – Manager, Human Resources, Winnipeg
C. 0. White – Labour Relations Assistant, Montreal
J. Letellier – Human Resources Officer, Montreal
J. Paquin – General Supervisor, Station Sales & Services, Montreal
G. Tremblay – Supervisor, Accounting, Montreal
And on behalf of the Brotherhood:
G. Thivierge – Regional Vice-President, Montreal
I. Quinn – Representative, Montreal
J. L. Desrochers – Local Chairman, Montreal
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
In this grievance there is no dispute that the grievor, Mr. M. Duchesneau, Counter Sales Agent, was negligent in failing to follow appropriate Company procedures in verifying the authenticity of a cheque for $171.00 before accepting it. When the cheque was returned by the bank N.S.F., the Company imposed a written reprimand and required the grievor to repay the lost monies. In due course the written reprimand was withdrawn from the grievor's personal file.
In the disposition of this grievance I agree with the Trade Union's submission that in the absence of a specific provision contained in a collective agreement the imposition of a fine depriving an employee of his rightful salary for work performed is not an appropriate disciplinary response. The appropriate response would be for the Company to levy an adequate disciplinary penalty in accordance with the practices and policies hitherto applied in the issuance of discipline.
Again, as I have stated in a previous case, this is a clear example of the Employer attempting to discipline an employee for misconduct, namely negligence. It does not convert the Employer's response to something other than discipline by its merely suggesting that the sole purpose was to recover monies lost as a result of the employee's misconduct.
The Employer is directed to reimburse the grievor in the amount of $171.00.
(signed) DAVID H. KATES