Mail carrier discarded by Canada Post

Carrier didn't report shortage of paid ads for his route and discarded copies were found

This instalment of You Make the Call looks at a mail carrier who was fired after bulk admail he was supposed to deliver was found discarded.

Luc Rivard was a mail carrier for Canada Post in Calgary for more than 25 years. There was no door-to-door delivery as all of the residences get their mail through community mail boxes.

Canada Post receives unaddressed commercial admail from clients who pay for it to be delivered to residences, which accounts for 20 per cent of Canada Post’s overall revenue. It reminded its employers through letters, e-mails and staff meetings of the importance of admail delivery. It was standard practice to allow carriers three days to deliver all the admail on their route.

Management was concerned with low delivery rates of admail and instructed carriers to return surplus admail to the office and report it to supervisors so it could be recorded rather than discarded.

Rivard said he usually didn’t report surpluses or shortages of admail as it often was not significant and supervisors were often not available. He would generally discard any extra admail at the end of his route.

On June 12, 2006, Rivard’s supervisor marked admail items for ten letter carrier routes in invisible ink. After the carriers left on their routes, the supervisor found several bundles, each containing 50 items, in a discard container. One of the bundles was marked with Rivard’s route. In a shredder, the supervisor found another 70 items marked with Rivard’s route.

The supervisor audited Rivard’s route that day and found 308 deliveries of admail had been made and 177 had not received any. When Rivard returned to the depot, he went through his normal routine and went home without informing anyone he had run out of admail.

The next day Rivard was suspended pending an investigation. He admitted he had put a bundle of admail in the discard container because he always got one bundle too many but denied putting any in the shredder. He claimed he hadn’t reported he was short because admail was easy to get around the depot. He also argued he would have completed delivery by the next day but his suspension prevented him from doing so. Canada Post said he had intentionally discarded the admail and didn’t plan on delivering it. Rivard was subsequently terminated.

You Make the Call

Should Rivard have been ­terminated for not delivering admail and failing to report it?
Was termination too harsh for not delivering all the admail?

If you said Rivard should have been terminated, you’re right. The board found the amount of discarded admail and the amount he didn’t deliver were significant enough to constitute serious misconduct. It found he likely did know of the 70 items in the shredder as there was no other reasonable explanation for how they got there. Denying any knowledge of them compounded his misconduct.

The board found it difficult to believe an experienced carrier such as Rivard wouldn’t notice he was short one-third of the items he was supposed to deliver. Since he didn’t do anything to find more admail when he returned to the depot, it was also difficult to believe he intended to deliver the rest the next day.

The board also found Rivard knew the importance of delivering admail and his obligation to deliver it was part of his job. Failure to do so was a “major misconduct that goes to the heart of the employer’s business.” His attempt to cover up the misconduct further breached Canada Post’s trust. The board found termination was justified.

“As the delivery of mail is the primary mandate of Canada Post, and the fundamental responsibility of a letter carrier, the employer had just cause for dismissal in these circumstances,” the board said.

For more information see:

Canada Post Corp. v. C.U.P.W., 2007 Carswell Nat 1183 (Can. Arb. Bd.).

To read the full story, login below.

Not a subscriber?

Start your subscription today!