Tag archives: harassment

Termination for Facebook post upheld by arbitrator – Despite absence of social media policy

The recent decision of United Steelworkers of America, Local 9548 v Tenaris Algoma Tubes Inc, 2014 CanLII 26445 (ON LA) provides an example of how a unionized employee’s off-duty social media behavior can justify dismissal, despite the absence of any reference to social media in the company’s harassment policies.

The grievor was a crane operator who took issue with a female co-worker’s job performance as a stocker. Following his shift, the grievor posted comments on his Facebook page about the stocker referencing one of her distinctive physical features. A third co-worker commented on the post and suggested performing a … Continue Reading

Moral harassment: an employee victim of harassment can be compensated twice

Legal context

French employment law strictly prohibits acts of moral harassment within a company, employers being required to take all measures necessary to prevent such situations from occurring in the first place. Applicable sanctions in the event of breach of such prohibition can be particularly severe since the employer can face penal sanctions as well as having any act taken in violation of such prohibition being declared null and void. The victim of such acts can also seek the civil liability of the employer and obtain the payment of damages for any loss suffered as a result of the harassment. … Continue Reading

Dealing with end of year work parties

The onset of legal liability in the New Year, following a mishap at the end of year work party, is an unpleasant reality for employers.

Employers can leave themselves open to this liability because of misunderstandings about the extent of their powers and responsibilities.

The legal reality is that the end of year office function is part of the workplace. As a consequence the employer has legal responsibilities to employees who attend the event. The employer can be held financially liable if those responsibilities are not met. A further consequence is that the employer has the legal standing to regulate … Continue Reading

Bullying a colleague does not necessarily justify a dismissal

The legal context

French employment law strictly prohibits situations of moral harassment in the workplace, the employer being required to take all necessary measures to prevent such situations from occurring. The employer can, for example, be held liable if acts of moral harassment actually take place, as the employer can then be held to have failed to comply with its duty to ensure the protection of its employees’ health and safety.

In this respect, employers are generally entitled to discipline, and even dismiss, employees who commit acts of moral harassment. However, although moral harassment is in principle characterized in situations … Continue Reading

Case Brief: On punitive and mental distress damages for harassment

In 2012, we reported on an Ontario jury award of approximately $1.5 million damages to a 42-year-old former assistant manager who resigned her employment at Wal-Mart after being verbally abused and harassed by her 32-year-old store manager. At trial, the employee was found entitled to $200,000 for intentional infliction of mental suffering, $1 million in punitive damages and $10,000 for assault. The manager was ordered to pay $100,000 for intentional infliction of mental suffering and $150,000 in punitive damages. We noted that an appeal of the award, the highest in Canada at that time, was a virtual certainty. In fact, … Continue Reading

Employee Not Allowed to Sue Employer For Injuries Resulting From Workplace Harassment

In, Ashraf v SNC Lavalin ATP Inc. (“Ashraf”) an Alberta judge upheld a master’s decision to strike the statement of claim of a worker seeking to sue his employer for injuries resulting from workplace harassment. The Statement of Claim of the Plaintiff was struck on the grounds that the Alberta Worker’s Compensation Act bars all rights and causes of action against an employer resulting from injuries which arise as the result of employment – including those related to workplace harassment.

All Canadian provinces have a comparable provision in their respective workers’ compensation statutes. In Ontario, section 16 of the Workplace … Continue Reading

Avoiding the pitfalls of hosting a work party in the UK

This post was contributed by Lindsey Hooper, Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (London)

 Work parties over the Christmas period have become somewhat of a tradition in the UK but they can be a real headache for employers. Here are some handy tips for avoiding common “work party” pitfalls.

Location, location, location

The location of a work party can be key to how much employees relax and enjoy themselves. However, there are lots of other issues to consider:

  • At any work party venue, employers can still be liable for injuries sustained by employees so you should always carry out a full
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Employers’ obligations when hosting the end of year party

This article was written by Jose Jorge, director at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa and assisted by Esther van Schalkwyk a candidate attorney

The itchiness (and hilarity) of Movember has passed and the end of the year is in sight.

The end of year party seems to have become an indispensable part of any self-respecting employer’s commitment to staff entertainment. As the long, hard year draws to a close, staff members look forward to losing their ties, loosening their top buttons and letting their hair down. Apologies to the follically challenged and also for the mixed metaphors. It is that … Continue Reading