There may be times when it is difficult to navigate the numerous policies that the Company creates. It is generally known that employers do have the right to develop rules and policies for the workplace. It is, however, very important to keep in mind that it is not an absolute right. The Union will sometimes take issue with a new or amended policy and you will often see policy grievances filed to address those concerns. A classic decision for the principles relevant to a review of an employer rule or policy is KVP Co. Ltd. (1965), 16 LAC 73. Its basic principles include the following:
- Employers have the right to issue a wide variety of rules, as long as they are not in conflict with the Collective Agreement (as well as relevant legislation including Human Rights legislation).
- Rules must be reasonable and easily understood. They must be made known to employees and administered fairly and consistently.
- An employer cannot rely solely on employer rules in meting out discipline. Rather, the employer must demonstrate that the discipline was for just and reasonable cause.