Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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Employee stopped production line “to be difficult”, not due to safety issue: work refusal not justified

An employee who shut down a production line allegedly because two other employees were fighting, was not exercising a proper work refusal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has...more

4/14/2016 - Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Ontario Labour Relations Board Workplace Safety Workplace Violence

Work refusal was motivated by employee’s dislike of work assignment, not by safety: when full disciplinary record considered,...

An arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of an employee who tried to use the Occupational Health and Safety Act’s work refusal provisions to avoid undesired work assignments. The employee worked for the City of Hamilton...more

3/22/2016 - Arbitration Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Work Suspensions Wrongful Termination

Firing after employee’s “generalized threat to get legal advice” was not retaliatory

An employee who was fired approximately one month after he told his employer that he “might get legal help” was not the victim of a reprisal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided. Although the case was filed under...more

2/11/2016 - Canada Employment Discrimination Employment Standards Act Hiring & Firing Ontario Labour Relations Board Wrongful Termination

“Presumptive remedy” for retaliatory discharge under OHSA is reinstatement of employee, OLRB states

Where an employer fires an employee for raising safety concerns, the employee will generally be entitled to reinstatement, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has stated. The case involved a restaurant employee who sent...more

1/28/2016 - Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Ontario Labour Relations Board Retaliation Wage and Hour

“I guess I’d have to kill you” remark could not reasonably have been interpreted as a “viable threat”: fired worker entitled to...

A worker’s comment that “I guess I’d have to kill you” was clearly inappropriate but did not constitute wilful misconduct under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held. The case...more

12/10/2015 - Canada Employment Standards Act Hiring & Firing Willful Misconduct

Employer ordered to reinstate labourer fired day after complaining about knee pain, safety issue

An employee has won a reinstatement order under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after the Ontario Labour Relations Board held that he was fired for raising safety issues. The employee complained to a company...more

11/12/2015 - Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation Workplace Safety Wrongful Termination

When public perception and the law differ: man fired for heckling TV reporter at soccer game is rehired after arbitration process

Just because members of the public call for the firing of an employee for yelling sexual taunts at a TV reporter at a sports match, does not mean that the firing is legally justified, a recent case illustrates....more

11/5/2015 - Arbitration Code of Conduct Hiring & Firing Obscenity Off-Duty Employees Television Programming Television Shows Wrongful Termination

Alcoholic employee reinstated after employer’s compassionate approach put in question seriousness of previous warnings

There is an old, and somewhat cynical saying, that no good deed goes unpunished. While I personally disagree with that saying, one employer must believe it after a decision it received. In the case, an adjudicator...more

10/8/2015 - Disability Drug & Alcohol Abuse Hiring & Firing

Employee properly fired for workplace violence threats, despite his mental disability: Appeal Court

An employee’s mental disability, unknown to his employer at the time of dismissal, played no role in the reason he was fired.  He was fired because he made violent threats against coworkers, the Ontario Court of Appeal has...more

9/10/2015 - Disability Discrimination Hiring & Firing Workplace Violence Wrongful Termination

Snowplow driver dismissed due to two accidents, not workplace violence “head-butting” complaint

A snowplow driver’s bad driving record, not his workplace violence complaint, was the reason for his dismissal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided. Vehicle safety and safe road conduct were important to the...more

9/3/2015 - Hiring & Firing OLRB Retaliation Workplace Safety

“Discussing inappropriate personal matters at work”, aggressive conduct, gets employee fired for cause

An employee on a “last-chance” agreement was fired for cause for his “aggressive, condescending and rude” behaviour including discussing sensitive personal matters at work. The employee had worked at the company for 28...more

9/1/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Employment Policies Harassment Hiring & Firing Mediation Workplace Bullying

“Zero tolerance” policy on drugs in workplace upheld by human rights tribunal where employee did not have “marijuana card”

An employee who smoked marijuana on the job without legal and medical authorization was not discriminated against when dismissed under his employer’s “zero tolerance” policy, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has...more

7/31/2015 - Employment Policies Hiring & Firing Marijuana Medical Marijuana OHSA Tribunals Zero Tolerance Policies

“Ill-conceived, poorly-executed” job search, “Alberta sojourn” breached Ontario employee’s duty to mitigate damages in...

Even though an employee “won” his safety-retaliation case under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after his employer failed to file a Response, the employee’s damages were reduced because his job search was shoddy....more

7/14/2015 - Duty to Mitigate Hiring & Firing Lost Wages OHSA OLRB Retaliation

Labour arbitrator agrees to hear harassment-retaliation grievance under OHSA

Although a temporary employee had no termination protection under the collective agreement, he did have the right to advance a reprisal / retaliation claim under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, a labour arbitrator has...more

7/9/2015 - Arbitration Collective Agreements Harassment Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation Temporary Employees Unions Workplace Bullying Wrongful Termination

36-year employee properly dismissed for “unprovoked momentary outburst” with knife

A 57 year old employee with 36 years of service was properly fired for one incident in which he cut another employee with a knife, a labour arbitrator has decided. The employee was a custodian with a textiles company.  He...more

4/21/2015 - Canada Hiring & Firing Termination Workplace Violence

No punches thrown, but employee properly dismissed for yelling, swearing and abusive conduct

An employee need not physically assault a co-worker in order to be dismissed for workplace violence, an arbitrator’s decision shows. The employer had 8 “Golden Rules” of workplace health, safety and environmental...more

3/24/2015 - Arbitration Employment Policies Hiring & Firing Termination Workplace Violence

False assault allegation against supervisor was just cause for dismissal: video evidence was conclusive

An employee who filed a written complaint, falsely alleging that his supervisor deliberately ran into him with a sharp blow from his shoulder, was dismissed for cause, an arbitrator has held. Unfortunately for the employee,...more

2/5/2015 - Canada Hiring & Firing Video Recordings Workplace Violence

“Not the right fit”? Fired hours after MOL inspector’s visit, employee awarded $19,000 in damages

Employers who have bona fide reasons for dismissing an employee should avoid using “not the right fit”. They should also show up at Ontario Labour Relations Board hearings. An employer that dismissed an employee hours after a...more

2/3/2015 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation

Employee Dismissed for Demanding Bonus and Saying that Employer “Could Fire Him”, Not For Raising Safety Concerns, Court Decides

An employee’s demand for a bonus and assertion that his employment relationship would not be “fruitful” and that his employer could fire him, was the reason for his dismissal, a court has decided. The dismissal was not...more

10/1/2014 - Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation Safety Precautions Termination

“Discipline” included “dismissal”: employer did not breach safety-reprisal settlement when it dismissed employee after harassment...

An employer that dismissed an employee after a harassment investigation did not breach a previous safety-reprisal settlement with the employee, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held. In effect, the employer never...more

9/17/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Harassment Hiring & Firing OHSA Termination

“Don’t worry about me, I carry weapons”: employee’s violent statements warranted serious discipline but not dismissal

An electrician’s comment, “Don’t worry about me, I carry weapons” and “it would really feel good to kill something today” constituted workplace violence but did not warrant dismissal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has...more

8/27/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Canada Employer Liability Issues Employer No-Weapons Policies Hiring & Firing Workplace Violence

Ontario Bill to extend protection of OHSA to unpaid trainees

A new Ontario Bill will give unpaid trainees the protection of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The OHSA currently gives that protection to paid workers only. The current definition of “worker” under the OHSA...more

7/23/2014 - Canada Hiring & Firing New Legislation OHSA Unpaid Interns

“Disgruntled and aggressive clients” posed safety threat under OHSA

An employee who was fired one day after complaining to the Ministry of Labour that she felt threatened by “disgruntled and aggressive clients” was entitled to damages for the retaliatory discharge, the Ontario Labour...more

7/9/2014 - Canada Damages Former Employee Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation

Threat, assault on supervisor were just cause for dismissal at isolated mine in NWT with “zero tolerance” violence policy

An employee at an isolated camp in the Northwest Territories who assaulted and threatened his supervisor was dismissed for just cause, an adjudicator has decided. The employee was an equipment operator at a mine site....more

6/12/2014 - Assault Hiring & Firing Mining Termination Workplace Violence Zero Tolerance Policies

Supervisor who solicited and procured drugs from employee was fired for cause

The B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld the for-cause termination of a supervisor who used text messages to solicit and obtain drugs from an employee under his supervision. Safety was one of the supervisor’s responsibilities in...more

6/10/2014 - Appeals Hiring & Firing Illegal Drugs Termination Workplace Safety

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