Case Report – Arbitrator says exhausting less intrusive means is not required to engage in workplace surveillance

On August 31st, Arbitrator Watters held that video surveillance evidence taken from a hidden camera installed in a long-term care facility resident’s room was admissible in a termination arbitration.

Many labour arbitrators will balance employer and employee interests in determining whether to admit surveillance evidence. This case is notable because the parties engaged in a dispute about whether the reasonableness test used to effect this balance includes a “no less intrusive means” component. Arbitrator Watters held that it does not – the test is a reasonable grounds/reasonable means test, though consideration of other options may support the grounds for surveillance.

The National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada (CAW-Canada), Local 127 and The Municipality of Chatham-Kent (Riverview Gardens) (Re), [2009] O.L.A.A. No. 424 (Watters).

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