An employee on a "last-chance" agreement was fired for
cause for his "aggressive, condescending and rude"
behaviour including discussing sensitive personal matters at
The employee had worked at the company for 28 years as a general
clerk at a grocery store. He had been fired previously and
was reinstated at a different store as part of a mediated
settlement. Under the settlement, if he behaved "in an
inappropriate manner in the workplace, which would attract a
disciplinary response", he would be subject to discharge.
Shortly afterwards, two teenage coworkers filed complaints about
the employee, alleging harassing and bullying behaviour. The
arbitrator considered the complaints and found that the employee
"is a very aggressive person and does not back away from
strongly asserting his views". He had been aggressive,
condescending and rude towards those employees.
The arbitrator then stated, "That brings us
to a particularly serious allegation about Mr. Tamelin discussing
inappropriate personal matters at work." According to
one witness the employee had been "talking about his personal
life with his past relationships, wives, going on about them in a
very negative way, actually swearing about the, uncomfortable for
me and for any customer. Didn't want to add into the
conversation. Also talking about the United States and his
political views." He had used offensive terms to
describe his past wife.
The arbitrator ruled that the employee had
"acted very inappropriately" towards the two teenage
employees. He had not been provoked by them. As such,
the employer had cause for discipline. Given the "last
chance" clause in the settlement agreement, discharge was
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On Thursday, September 22, 2016, Dentons hosted a panel discussion about the management of liabilities and risks associated with environmental crises, including potential liabilities for directors and officers and provided insight into risk and liability techniques associated with environmental crisis management.
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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