Driver Banished by Customer = Lack of Work under CLC :

In Merz v TST Trucking Ltd ( YM2707-10977) CLC Adjudicator Lederman had a situation where a driver was assigned a route serving Purolator, an important client of TST. As a result of an apparent incident between Mr. Mertz and some Purolator employees, Purolator told TST that would no longer let Mertz come on their property. TST then terminated Mertz.

The Adjudicator found that whether or not Purolator was right or wrong in their assessment of Mertz’s actions, the banishment effectively ” precluded him from continuing in his job function ” and that this constituted a lack of work, therefore the adjudicator had no jurisdiction under the Unjust Dismissal section of the Canada Labour Code. The Adjudicator noted that the employer had no other routes available.

It is unclear if the employer had no other vacant routes available or had no other routes at all. If for instance TST could have moved another of its drivers onto the Purolator route and had Mertz drive that other route, then there would have been no lack of work.

If Mertz could have simply switched routes, then this case stands for the troubling proposition that even an unreasonable action by the employers’ client can lead to the dismissal of the employee.