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threat of violence

Navigating the issue of domestic violence in the workplace

Ontario’s recently enacted workplace violence amendment places a legal onus on provincially regulated employers to safeguard employees from the risk of domestic violence in the workplace. Additional jurisdictions are likely to follow suit. In legal terms, domestic violence is increasingly becoming a foreseeable workplace risk. In moral terms, inaction on this growing workplace issue would introduce unacceptable human risk.

 

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Employers must now treat verbal threats as serious offences under the OHSA’s definition of workplace violence

A recent labour arbitrator’s decision—to uphold the City of Kingston’s right to terminate a 28-year employee for issuing a verbal threat against a co-worker—was based in large part on the arbitrator’s view that “the classification of threatening language as workplace violence” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act represents a “clear and significant change” to the law in Ontario.

 

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