Arbitrator upholds discipline for taking photos in the workplace and refusing to delete

On October 2nd, Arbitrator Albertyn partly upheld a suspension issued for taking photos in the workplace without authorization and refusing to delete them as directed. Here is what he said:

I have found that the Grievor refused to delete the photographs of the restaurant from his cellphone when asked to do so by the Employer. The images were likely of the restaurant, of an employee and of its proprietor. These images did not belong to the Grievor. All or some of them belonged to the Employer. The Employer was entitled to require that the Grievor delete them. That was a legitimate instruction from the Employer to the Grievor. His refusal amounted to insubordination.

The employer did not have a policy, and posted a memo that addressed photo taking in the workplace after the incident. Arbitrator Albertyn suggests that the employer did not need a policy to order the photos to be deleted.

Swiss Chalet Restaurant #1178 v United Food & Commercial Workers Canada, Local 206, 2012 CanLII 57387 (ON LA).

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