The Ontario Labour Relations Board, sitting as an arbitrator,
has upheld a five-day suspension against a construction employee
who admitted that he threatened twice, over two days, to kill his
The OLRB referred to Ontario's Bill 168 which introduced
workplace violence and harassment provisions to the Ontario
Occupational Health and Safety Act. The OLRB stated that
"when an event that fits squarely within the definition of
workplace violence [under Bill 168] occurs, an employer is not only
permitted but required to act, both to deal with the unacceptable
behaviour and to take steps to ensure that its policies are known
and understood." The OLRB stated that "general
deterrence" is important in cases of workplace violence
– that is, sending a strong message that discourages
other employees from engaging in workplace violence.
The OLRB found that the threats were not a joke. He was not
simply speaking out of frustration. No one who heard the threats
thought he was making a joke. The employee refused to apologize. A
five-day suspension was appropriate.
FMC is one of Canada's leading business and litigation law
firms with more than 500 lawyers in six full-service offices
located in the country's key business centres. We focus on
providing outstanding service and value to our clients, and we
strive to excel as a workplace of choice for our people. Regardless
of where you choose to do business in Canada, our strong team of
professionals possess knowledge and expertise on regional, national
and cross-border matters. FMC's well-earned reputation for
consistently delivering the highest quality legal services and
counsel to our clients is complemented by an ongoing commitment to
diversity and inclusion to broaden our insight and perspective on
our clients' needs. Visit:
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).