Canadian Safety Reporter - sample

September 2018

Focuses on occupational health and safety issues at a strategic level. Designed for employers, HR managers and OHS professionals, it features news, case studies on best practices and practical tips to ensure the safest possible working environment.

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CSR | September 2018 | News Decision to terminate made before worker complained WEBINARS Interested in learning more about safety and HR issues directly from the experts? Check out the Canada Professional Development Centre's live and on-demand webinars discussing topics such as Ontario's sexual violence and harassment plan act, chemicals in the workplace, and fall protection. Visit for more information. the general manager on Nov. 2. Proactive decided to terminate Brown's employment sooner since it didn't want a depart- ing employee who felt slighted to continue working for two months when she could become disengaged and unproductive. The company terminated her on Nov. 4, providing two weeks' pay in lieu of notice. At the termination meeting on Nov. 4, the general manager first confirmed with Brown that she was resigning effective Dec. 24. After he informed her of her immediate termination, Brown tried to raise other issues — including that she believed Proactive hadn't given her a fair chance — but the general man- ager didn't want to debate her at the meeting. Brown later claimed she said the incident and the Oct. 7 meet- ing about it were unacceptable and they terminated her after those comments, but Proactive management denied that was the case. She also claimed that she had invited the health and safety manager and field safety manager to the meeting, but they weren't there. The general manager argued he wasn't ex- pecting them because he hadn't invited them himself. Brown filed a human rights complaint, claiming the com- ments said to her in the Oct. 7, 2016, meeting and the termina- tion of her employment — she claimed she didn't formally no- tify the company of her inten- tion to resign — constituted dis- crimination on the basis of her sex, contrary to the B.C. Human Rights Code. The tribunal found that the instructions given to Brown to avoid using the terms "hun" and "sweetie-pie" to address co- workers were reasonable and not indicative of discrimina- tion based on Brown's sex — the same instructions would likely apply to a male worker as well. In addition, the tribunal said the comment that Brown was a woman working "in a man's world" happened in the meet- ing and nowhere else, making it likely Proactive could establish the comment as an isolated in- cident. The tribunal also pointed out that the company fired the male co-worker who sexually harassed Brown. "While I appreciate that the superintendent's comments may have crossed the line, and may have been discouraging for Ms. Brown to hear, the company's decision to fire the offending employee spoke volumes in re- spect of sending a message that sexual harassment will not be tolerated at Proactive," said the tribunal. Termination decision not related to sex The tribunal also found that while Brown didn't formally no- tify Proactive of her intention to resign, the company became aware when the operations man- ager forwarded her texts to the general manager and president. Proactive then made a business decision to terminate Brown's employment because it didn't want a potentially disengaged employee working there for two months. The evidence showed the decision to terminate was made before the Nov. 4 meet- ing at which Brown claimed she complained about discrimina- tion and her treatment by man- agement, and Brown's sex was not a factor in the decision, the tribunal said. The tribunal determined Brown's dismissal wasn't related to any protected grounds under the B.C. Human Rights Code and dismissed her complaint. For more information see: • Brown v. Proactive Hazmat & Environmental, 2018 CarswellBC 1686 (B.C. Human Rights Trib.). Firing < pg. 5 ©2018 Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-7798-2810-4 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher (Thomson Reuters, Media Solutions, Canada). Canadian Safety Reporter is part of the Canadian HR Reporter group of publications: • Canadian HR Reporter — • Canadian Occupational Safety magazine — • Canadian Payroll Reporter — • Canadian Employment Law Today — • Canadian Labour Reporter — See for information Safety Reporter Canadian Published 12 times a year by Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd. Subscription rate: $139 per year Customer Service Tel: (416) 609-3800 (Toronto) (800) 387-5164 (outside Toronto) Fax: (416) 298-5106 E-mail: Website: One Corporate Plaza 2075 Kennedy Road Toronto, Ontario, Canada M1T 3V4 Director, Media Solutions, Canada Karen Lorimer Publisher/Managing Editor Todd Humber Lead Editor Jeffrey R. Smith Marketing & Audience Development Manager Robert Symes (416) 649-9551 Circulation Co-ordinator Keith Fulford (416) 649-9585 Sales Manager Paul Burton (416) 649-9928

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