Canadian Employment Law Today

March 4, 2015

Focuses on human resources law from a business perspective, featuring news and cases from the courts, in-depth articles on legal trends and insights from top employment lawyers across Canada.

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PM40065782 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad ad a ian March 4, 2015 Employee wants $100,000 for racial discrimination – and gets $3,500 Worker complained of several incidents breaching harassment policy, but employer met its obligations in some of them By JEffrEy r. smiTh THE onTARio Grievance Settlement Board has awarded $3,500 to a correctional offi cer who wanted $100,000 in damages for discrimination and harassment at work. Simone Williams was a correctional offi - cer at the Toronto South Detention Centre in Toronto, hired by the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Ser- vices in May 1987. In July 2008, while working at the Toronto Jail, Williams, who is black, came forward to speak publicly on her experience of what she called a poisoned work environment that was the result of factions and divisions within the workplace. ough this spear- headed a process of developing systemic solutions at the jail, it exposed Williams to racial threats, including two anonymous hate letters sent to the jail. After the jail received the hate letters, Williams went on stress leave, returning in an accommodated position in December 2009. She remained afraid of working nights and being in the dark alone, which limited her ability to work overtime. When the To- ronto Jail closed, Williams transferred to the new Toronto South Detention Centre. On July 27, 2010, Williams was in a man- ager's offi ce warming her coff ee when an- other correctional offi cer entered the offi ce, glanced at her, and said the name of a male correctional offi cer who also worked there and was also black. Williams said, "Excuse me?" and the co-worker said he had made a mistake and hadn't recognized her without his glasses on. Williams became agitated so the co-worker said, "Whatever, have a nice day" and left. Williams had worked with this man for several years and suspected it wasn't an in- nocent mistake but instead had racist over- tones. She didn't initially do anything but human rights damages in wrongful dismissal lawsuits pg. 3 Ontario courts awarding human rights damages with Tim mitchell Employee cries alcoholism too late after dismissal and drunk driving charge An ARBiTRAToR has upheld the dis- missal of a New Brunswick worker who lost his driver's licence because of a conviction for intoxicated driving. Patrick Hogan was a service installation technician for Rogers Cable in Miramichi, N.B., installing cable services for the national cable, Internet and phone services provider. Hired in November 2007, Hogan worked in a service vehicle driving to where installa- tion or maintenance at customer locations was required. Hogan logged in every day with a mobile computer to see the work assigned to him and proceeded to the job sites. A typical day involved two jobs, and the mobile comput- er allowed him to check in with his status, just as "en route" to a job, "on site" or when a job was completed. Like the other service technicians, Hogan worked alone and was allowed to take the vehicle home after work. All service technicians and construction group employees were required to have a valid provincial driver's licence. Hogan had some problems reaching his objectives and sometimes his work had to be redone by others due to customer com- plaints. By 2010, his annual performance credit: Fred thornhill/reuters Firing for racist comments upheld pg. 4 Racist and threatening comments made by worker to another breached code of conduct and policy WorKer on page 6 » meDiCal ConDition on page 7 » asK an eXPert pg. 2 Safety concerns over bad weather commuting the toronto south detention centre

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