Saskatoon bartender drunkenly quits, attempts to get job back 2 days later

Club partially responsible for employee actions: Unite! Here

After a birthday celebration at his workplace that included too much alcohol, a bartender suddenly announced he was quitting.
Ryan Vandale had worked at the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans Club #38 in Saskatoon since 2010. On his 35th birthday on Oct. 13, 2018, he went to the club around 6 p.m. to celebrate. Vandale was also a member of the club and he wasn’t on duty that evening. 
Vandale began to over-imbibe and “before I knew it, I was on autopilot. Don’t recall what happened.” Many drinks and alcohol shots were given to Vandale that evening, he testified. 
Around 10:15 p.m., Murray Shaw, club board member, phoned club manager Gail Ethier. Vandale was behaving disrespectfully toward other patrons as well as the bartender on duty, said Shaw.
Ethier then asked to speak with Vandale. “I’m fine. There’s no problem at all,” he said. Vandale left the club shortly after but on the way out, he left a hand-written note on Ethier’s desk that said: “I, Ryan Vandale, quit (signed) Ryan Vandale.”
Then around 10:47 a.m., Vandale sent many texts to Ethier. One of the messages said: “I’m done. Find somebody else for Tuesday.”
The following day, a special board meeting was called to discuss the previous night’s events. On her way into the board meeting, Ethier found the note that Vandale had left.
Ethier originally planned to ask the board to suspend Vandale, but after reading the note, the board unanimously decided to accept his resignation.
On Oct. 15, Vandale sent a text to Ethier. “Good morning. Letting you know, I am at a loss for words, I have no recollection of Saturday. (I asked to not be served shooters, but apparently that didn’t go over well) (I apologize for being the centre of controversy yet again) - Ryan.”
Ethier responded to Vandale and said the “note and text of you quitting was accepted as exactly that from the board and your services here are no longer unfortunately required.” 
Vandale was also told his club membership was suspended and he was invited to a board meeting on Oct. 22 to discuss the membership. Vandale and a union representative attended but his request for rescindment was denied.
On Oct. 26, Vandale and the union, Unite Here! Local 41, filed a grievance. The union argued that because the bartender on duty allowed Vandale to consume too much alcohol that night, the club bore some responsibility for his actions.
The resignation that evening was insincere due to Vandale being impaired, said the union. 
The employer countered and said that Vandale had a spotty record that included 15 incidents during his eight years of employment, so it decided to accept the resignation immediately.
Arbitrator Neil Robertson agreed and dismissed the grievance. 
“On balance, I am satisfied that the employer has established that the resignation was voluntary and valid. The fact that the resignation was communicated in writing twice and the delay in retracting the resignation support the conclusion that (Vandale) had a clear and continuing intent to resign. While he later regretted the decision, the employer was entitled to take it at face value and did accept the resignation, ending the employment relationship.”
By waiting an extra day, it showed Vandale was not overly worried about the ramifications of his text and handwritten notes, said Robertson.
“Although (Vandale) testified that he did not remember much of the events of the Saturday evening, he clearly knew on Sunday that he had texted his resignation to the club manager. If (Vandale) had not intended to resign, one would expect he would have taken the earliest opportunity to tell that to Ethier. Yet he took no action until Monday morning, at which time he texted an apology for his behaviour on Saturday night. Even then, there was no mention of the resignation, much less any retraction or repudiation of the resignation.”
Reference: Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans Club #38 and Unite Here! Local 41. Neil Robertson — arbitrator. Gail Ethier for the employer. Garry Whalen for the employee. Feb. 7, 2019.

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