Association des chauffeurs de Transport Couture v. Transport Couture & Fils (M. Tim) (T.A., Denis Provençal), January 10, 2012 decision

The complainant, who worked as a long-haul truck driver for a freight transport business, was dismissed upon administrative grounds, as he no longer met his job requirements. Indeed, due to his criminal record, the complainant was no longer able to enter the United States as required by his position. The complainant challenged the dismissal, principally alleging that the employer had acted in a discriminatory manner, and had failed to fulfil its duty to accommodate. 

The arbitrator concluded that the employer had not discriminated against the complainant, since all long-haul truck drivers were subject to the same condition, i.e. that of being authorized to drive within the United States. Furthermore, although the complainant received a pardon from the National Parole Board, this pardon was not recognized by the US authorities, who required that a person in this position seek a permit to drive inside the US. Since the complainant was unable to obtain the permit, and thus no longer met the requirements of his position in the Long-Haul Division, he was issued a dismissal upon administrative grounds. The arbitrator also noted that the collective agreement did not allow for the transfer of the complainant to another division or that he be entitled to replace a driver from another division.

On the issue of the obligation to accommodate, the arbitrator pointed out that the employer did not treat the complainant any differently due to the pardon he had received. It was rather the United States which prohibited the complainant from entry inside their borders. The arbitrator ruled that the employer had no obligation to draw up a route specifically tailored for the complainant. The dismissal was upheld.