The right to discipline an employee is subject to the provisions of the collective agreement.
Many collective agreements contain a sunset provision that restricts the employer’s ability to rely on older instances of discipline. Typically, the negotiated sunset period is 18 to 24 months. An employer who relies on stale discipline to move an employee along the progressive discipline line will usually face an unpleasant result at arbitration. An arbitrator is likely to substitute a reduced a penalty.