A former Tembec employee fired for sexual assault against a co-worker has been given his job back at the sawmill in Hearst.

In early September of this year Tembec Sawmill employee Jean-Louis Hardy, a 56-year-old Hearst man, was fired for inappropriately touching a co-worker.

A hearing was held in Timmins back in late November before an arbitrator who decided Hardy is fit to return to work within the first week of January of 2018.

The arbitrator’s decision was based on the fact that while Hardy’s actions were improper conduct and did require discipline, the incident did not warrant a full dismissal from his position.

In the hearing statement from the arbitrator, he revealed Hardy has undergone counselling for depression and should not be considered a serious threat to other women in the workplace.

Hardy will be allowed to return to work in January, following a significant unpaid suspension.