The Ontario Labour Relations Board has held that an employee who
was fired two months after injuring her knee at work, was not
dismissed for asserting her safety rights under the Ontario
Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The employee claimed, in her application to the Ontario Labour
Relations Board, that she injured her knee at work in April 2011
and was told by a manager to "walk it off and take it easy
over the next few weeks". She did not lose any work time.
She asserted in her application that in May 2011 her knee injury
worsened and she sought medical assistance, and that during June
2011 her employer starting putting together the paperwork to report
the injury to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board stated:
"There is nothing pleaded by the applicant to even remotely
suggest that her loss of employment was the direct result of acting
in compliance with, or seeking the enforcement of, the Act or its
regulations, or of giving evidence in a proceeding in respect of
the enforcement of the Act or its regulations. As noted by the
responding party in its response, the applicant's only
complaint relates to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act,
1997, S.O. 1997, c. 16, legislation that is separate and
distinct from the Act."
The OLRB thus dismissed the employee's application without a
This decision shows that the fact that an employee had a recent
injury will not, on its own, provide the basis for a reprisal
complaint under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
where the employee is later dismissed.
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Back in July 2012, we covered "PVYW v Comcare" (No 2),  FCA 395, which concerned an employee in the HR department of an Australian government agency who was injured on a work-related trip to a country town in New South Wales.
The employee, Ashworth, alleged that the manager demanded that she close the door and then positioned herself in front of the closed door and started screaming and pointing her finger in the employee’s face.
A discussion on the judicial decision in a recent case, where a BC employer has successfully defended a claim for constructive dismissal despite taking away supervisory duties and moving the employee from an office to a cubicle.