Edwards agreed to settle his complaint in a tribunal-assisted
mediation at which he was represented by counsel. The next
day, he changed his mind. He refused to withdraw his
complaint as agreed, and tried to proceed to a hearing. The
employer applied to dismiss the complaint on the basis that a
settlement had been reached, and also asked for costs. In response,
Edwards claimed duress, that his lawyer was unprepared for the
mediation, and that he misunderstood the settlement. He also
leveled unsupported allegations of criminal conduct, bad faith,
forgery and fraud against the employer, and asked for costs against
The Tribunal rejected Edwards' submissions based on the need
to protect the integrity of Tribunal processes. It also agreed
with the employer's submission that the response by Edwards was
frivolous and vexatious. The Tribunal noted that it has in
the past concluded that the use of inflammatory, derogatory and
disrespectful comments constitutes improper conduct for costs
purposes. Accordingly, in addition to dismissing Edwards'
complaint, the Tribunal awarded costs of $900 in favour of the
While the level of costs was not significant, in our view
it's important that the Tribunal took this step to preserve the
integrity of its processes in the face of a complainant who acted
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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.
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