An employee at an isolated camp in the Northwest Territories who
assaulted and threatened his supervisor was dismissed for just
cause, an adjudicator has decided.
The employee was an equipment operator at a mine site.
The evidence was that the employee and supervisor got into an
altercation "not directly related to work issues". All
witnesses said that the employee pushed the supervisor three times.
Two witnesses said that the employee also threw a cup or bottle of
water at the supervisor. Several coworkers were required to
restrain the employee.
The day after the incident, the employee gave a statement in
which he said, ". . . I didn't make threats but I did make
a promise. I know where the prick lives and we will see each
other." The employer fired him and claimed just cause.
The employee filed a claim for termination pay under the NWT
Employment Standards Act. An Employment Standards Officer
decided that he was dismissed for just cause and thus was not
entitled to termination pay. The employee appealed, and an
adjudicator agreed that he had been dismissed for just cause.
The adjudicator stated that the employee had agreed to the
zero-tolerance violence policy and had disregarded that policy. The
workplace was an isolated camp setting and the assault and further
threats of violence were in clear violation of that policy.
Although the employee claimed that his supervisor had not been
treating him properly, there were other alternatives to
Therefore, the adjudicator decided that the single incident of
the assault and threats was just cause for dismissal.
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