Federal Appeal

Labour and Employment Law

Public service employees

Termination of employment

Adjudicator’s determination was unreasonable

Grievor was federal public servant, whose last assignment involved working as civilian clerk at RCMP district office. RCMP management spoke to grievor about certain issues, and when that did not lead to improvement in her performance and behaviour, levied three and then 10-day suspension. Security review process culminated in revocation of grievor’s reliability status, and termination followed as grievor’s position required that she possess valid reliability status. Seven grievances filed by grievor were referred to adjudication, and adjudicator dismissed grievances. Grievor’s application for judicial review was dismissed. Grievor appealed. Appeal allowed. Six of grievor’s grievances were remitted for re-determination. Adjudicator’s determination that grievor was not subject of disguised discipline was unreasonable. Security review process was used as means to terminate grievor’s employment because her supervisors were dissatisfied with her workplace performance and behaviour. Grievor should have been accorded right to have reasons for her termination reviewed under cause standard. Interpretation of Public Service Labour Relations Act adopted by adjudicator deprived grievor of this right and, if allowed to stand, would largely hollow out protection from dismissal without cause afforded to employees under Act.

Bergey v. Canada (Attorney General) (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 276, 2017 FCA 30, M. Nadon J.A., Johanne Gauthier J.A., and Mary J.L. Gleason J.A. (F.C.A.); reversed (2015), 2015 CarswellNat 1511, 2015 CarswellNat 8344, 2015 FC 617, 2015 CF 617, Roger T. Hughes J. (F.C.).

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