The Ontario Labour Relations Board has ordered an employer to
reinstate an apartment building "office administrative
superintendent" who alleged that she was fired after reporting
that her husband, the maintenance superintendent at the same
building, threatened their daughter and was about to hit her.
They resided in an apartment in the building.
Importantly, the employer did not file a Response to the
employee's OLRB Application, meaning that the OLRB's
decision was of a "default nature".
The employee alleged that after she reported the incident of
workplace violence, the property manager told her to "calm
down" and not to call the police, and that she should
"let it go" and forgive her husband. The employee
moved to a temporary shelter and reported the matter to
police. Her husband was arrested by police and was also fired
by her employer.
The employee stated that she was without income, and would be
required to change her daughter's school. The OLRB found
that on the basis of the facts pleaded by the employee, she was
"in a highly vulnerable and precarious position".
Her allegations provided an "arguable case" that she was
fired for asking the employer to comply with its workplace violence
obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
she had shown that she would suffer harm and real prejudice if
she were not reinstated; and the employer had not provided any
evidence that it would suffer prejudice or harm if she were
reinstated pending the final determination of her safety-reprisal
As such, the OLRB decided to order the employer to reinstate the
employee to her job "forthwith on the same terms and
conditions" (which would, it appears, also require the
employer to give her back her apartment in the building) pending
the final outcome of the employee's safety-reprisal case.
If nothing, else, this case demonstrates why employers should file
a Response to all safety-reprisal claims made against them.
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