A Vernon firefighter has been reinstated after the Arbitration Board ruled termination was excessive after the fire captain was caught on camera having sex in the chief’s office, while on duty. (Morning Star file photo)

A Vernon firefighter has been reinstated after the Arbitration Board ruled termination was excessive after the fire captain was caught on camera having sex in the chief’s office, while on duty. (Morning Star file photo)

Vernon stands behind terminating firefighter caught having sex in hall

Arbitration Board rules termination excessive, firefighter reinstated, but city considers further appeal

The City of Vernon is adamant that terminating a firefighter for engaging in sexual activity with a subordinate last year was the right decision.

A firefighter and a fire service employee were terminated in March after being caught by a hidden camera having sex in current fire chief David Lind’s office.

The pair were on duty in the fire hall at the time of the incident, according to the city.

The union fought the termination, arguing there should be no discipline because the privacy of these individuals was violated when they were caught having sex in the fire chief’s office with the door wide open.

Ultimately, two out of three members on the Arbitration Board ruled that while “harsh discipline” was warranted, termination was excessive. The other member of board concluded that termination was the only rational outcome.

READ MORE: Vernon firefighter’s job safe after city loses appeal

The city appealed the decision to the Labour Relations Board, however the board cannot overturn an arbitration decision simply because they disagree with the outcome. The Labour Relations Board can only overturn an arbitration decision if one side was denied a fair hearing or if the arbitrator did something inconsistent with the Labour Code.

The Labour Board concluded that while they may have come to a different conclusion than the Arbitration Board, that was not a basis for them to overturn the decision. They concluded that since the Arbitration Board went through the proper process, the Labour Board had no jurisdiction to interfere with the outcome, even if they disagreed with it.

“The city continues to believe our decision was the correct one,” stated a press release from the city on Monday.

“Having sex in an open manner, with a subordinate, while on duty in the fire hall must be grounds for termination. We cannot tolerate a workplace environment where this type of activity is carried on by a commanding officer.

“While we are disappointed the Labour Board did not overturn the arbitration decision, they certainly did not endorse the outcome. The Labour Board was clearly troubled by the reinstatement, as the City continues to be. As a result, the city is currently considering its options to further appeal the reinstatement decision.”

READ MORE: City of Vernon, firefighters dispute surveillance camera


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 5 southbound lanes are closed near Exit 286. Pictured are southbound lanes at 7:06 p.m. (DriveBC)
Coquihalla Highway southbound lanes closed due to vehicle incident

Southbound lanes closed between Exit 286: Merritt and the start of Hwy 5

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UPDATE: Garage on Lakeshore Road burns to the ground, blaze deemed suspicious

Fire crews responded to the scene just after 4:30 p.m.

An empty learning space at Kelowna’s Canyon Falls Middle School prior to the school’s opening in fall 2019. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
COVID-19 case confirmed at Canyon Falls Middle School

This is the first case of COVID-19 being reported at Canyon Falls Middle School

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna council allocates $8M provincial COVID-19 grant

$5.4 million will be applied to the city’s preliminary 2021 budget

In this handout photo provided by the Philippine Red Cross, families stay at a temporary evacuation center at Catanduanes province, eastern Philippines, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, as Typhoon Goni hits the country. Families living near coastal towns have moved to evacuation centers as the strong typhoon makes landfall. (Philippine Red Cross via AP)
Okanagan community group organizes fundraiser for typhoon-hit Philippines

Over two million people have been affected by flooding, with about 500,000 forced to leave homes

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

(Ty Hainsworth / Facebook)
No injuries after fire rips through South Okanagan fruit stand

A fruit stand caught fire Tuesday afternoon, closing Highway 97 for two hours

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

A major reconstruction project on 32nd Avenue is nearing completion and the road is now re-opened to traffic between 33rd Street and 35th Street. (City of Vernon photo)
ROAD REPORT: More roundabouts coming to North Okanagan

New intersection lights up Dec. 13, 30th Street paving delayed, PV Road completed in Vernon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Ty Hainsworth / Facebook)
Highway 97 now clear following structure fire near Oliver

A fruit stand caught fire Tuesday afternoon

Most Read