Charged with sexual assault of patient, B.C. X-ray tech suspended without pay

Suspension appropriate even before resolution of legal proceedings: arbitrator
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/31/2019

Health-care organizations must hold a high standard of conduct for employees due to the trust the public holds in them and the vulnerability of the patients they treat.

That’s a big reason why an arbitrator determined the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA) was justified in suspending an X-ray technologist without pay — after police charged him with the sexual assault of patients — due to the risk to its reputation and the seriousness of the charges.

In June 2016, the VCHA was made aware the RCMP was investigating the sexual assault of a patient at one of its hospitals. The suspect was a 57-year-old X-ray technologist with nearly 30 years of service. The VCHA didn’t receive any details, but it launched an internal investigation to learn more about the circumstances. It asked the worker to co-operate in the VCHA’s investigation, but the worker declined on the advice of his lawyer, since the police investigation was ongoing.