Canadian Employment Law Today

January 18, 2017

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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Canadian HR Reporter, a Thomson Reuters business 2017 Canadian Employment Law Today | 7 More Cases « from WORKER FIRED on page 1 Worker claimed co-worker was exaggerating incidents asked his co-worker about comments he had made about the worker being driven to work by another employee. Atlantic didn't believe the worker's story, particularly in light of the witness accounts it had for the December incident. e company determined that the worker had engaged in two incidents of abusive and violent behaviour. It was concerned about the impact on other employees and the worker's failure to take responsibility for it, so it terminated his employment. e worker claimed the other employee exaggerated the incidents — particularly the November one, which the other employee didn't report at the time — and grieved his termination. e arbitrator found the worker didn't have much credibility in his accounts of the incidents. He dismissed both incidents with similar comments, saying "nothing happened." However, there were several witnesses to the December incident, including the supervisor, who reported that something did indeed happen. e worker was proven to have lied about the December incident, so it was likely he lied about the November incident as well, the arbitrator said. "e probability that the (worker) was upset, and therefore yelling, when speaking to (his co-worker) in November is supported by the fact that his demeanour when speaking to (his co-worker) in December about essentially the same concern: (the co-worker) talking about the (worker)," said the arbitrator. "If this alleged behaviour so enraged the (worker) that he was willing to physically fight with (the co- worker) in December, I find it quite likely that the (worker) may have been angry enough to yell while addressing the same topic just weeks earlier." e arbitrator also found the worker's explanation for his behaviour was less than credible. e worker claimed the other employee had been talking about him, but couldn't identify anyone specifically, just saying "everyone." None of the witnesses were aware of the co-worker talking about the worker and the supervisor also didn't know anything about it. Even if the worker had reason to believe he was being talked about, the arbitrator found it was relatively "innocuous" and not warranting such a strong response. e worker's "physically intimidating" behaviour and comments about taking it "outside" could be logically interpreted as threats, which weren't appropriate in the workplace, said the arbitrator. e arbitrator also noted the worker didn't offer an apology or acknowledgment of wrongdoing, even at the investigation after he had an opportunity to calm down. e worker apologized for the first time at the arbitration hearing, which was an attempt to get his job back, said the arbitrator. e arbitrator determined that there was no indication the worker appreciated the seriousness of his misconduct and returning him to the workplace was "untenable." e termination was upheld. See Atlantic Packaging Products Ltd. and International Brotherhood of Teamsters (GCC, Local 100m)(Brar), Re, 2016 CarswellOnt 19241 (Ont. Arb.). STAY ON TOP OF THE LATEST TRENDS IN HR VISIT HRREPORTER.COM TODAY Featuring a blend of breaking news, in-depth analysis and opinion from industry experts, is a go-to resource for the human resources community.

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