An employee has been convicted of dangerous operation of a motor
vehicle after he drove towards his boss three times, "trying
to scare him".
The employee worked as a labourer in construction. His
relationship deteriorated with his boss, leading to a physical
altercation between them. After the altercation, the boss was
standing on the sidewalk when the employee circled at least once,
and perhaps two or three times, and attempted to strike or at least
come very close to his boss with his car. He was driving quickly at
a speed that appeared dangerous to other witnesses who observed the
The court found that although the employee was "operating
under some stress and confusion", he was not merely trying to
escape his boss. The employee's assertion that he had no
intention of hitting his boss was not a defence. In his statement
to the police, the employee admitted that when he drove towards his
boss, he was trying to scare him. That admission was enough to show
mens rea, the "guilty mind" requirement for a
The court decided that driving on the sidewalk at some speed to
try to scare someone was a "marked departure from the standard
of care that a reasonable person would observe". A reasonable
person would have been aware of the risk. The employee actually
admitted at trial that driving on the sidewalk "was a
The employee was therefore guilty of the criminal offence of
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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.
A former teacher at Bodwell High School has learned a valuable lesson from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal— it is not discriminatory for an employer to offer child-related benefits to only employees with children.
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.
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