Doing your job, then surfing web ruled not ‘time theft’

Joe was a 27-year employee of the Department of Immigration with a clean disciplinary record.  Joe reported to 2 bosses  who clearly were not communicating well.  Every project given to Joe was done properly and on time, but he had a lot of extra time available to surf the Internet, including some pornography.

The employer argued that by viewing pornography [Joe] had violated the
employer’s policies and spending more than half of your day for months on end
surfing the Net for personal reasons constituted “time theft.” If Joe did not
have enough work to do, he should have asked for more.

You have a 27-year employee with a great track record who is getting all his
work done on time and properly. After having rendered almost three decades of
his life to the employer, Joe’s behaviour was discovered. The arbitrator in this
case found that Joe’s behaviour was not, in fact, “time theft.” That term
implies an intentional and criminal act. It is true that if Joe were a better
employee, he would have gone looking for more work rather than allowing the
employer to pay him hours on end for his own amusement.

Ultimately, the adjudicator decided that Joe’s termination was too severe
given that he was not provided with any warning or a chance to mend his ways.
Joe was ordered reinstated to the job, but that did not mean he got away
scot-free. It took 20 months between the date Joe was terminated until the date
the decision was made. Joe was reinstated without back pay. Effectively, the
adjudicator decided that a 20-month suspension without pay was appropriate. That
had to hurt Joe’s pocketbook.

Excerpt from the Hamilton Spectator