Construction worker sacked after ‘stupid’ stunt

Crude workplace culture and encouragement of co-workers no excuse for employee’s vulgar stunt at work: Board
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 10/19/2011

A series of escalating pranks at an Ontario construction site has led to a worker being fired after video of him nailing his private parts to a board surfaced online.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Canada, an industrial mechanical company with offices in Toronto and Calgary, was subcontracting elevator installation at a construction site in downtown Toronto, where a large office building was being built. All the workers on the site, including those of ThyssenKrupp and the main contractor of the site, PCL Construction, were male and the culture of the workplace was a “macho” environment during which pranks were played. There were reportedly pictures of women and provocative calendars hung on walls, as well as signs displaying vulgar humour. There was little concern over these as access to the building was restricted to people involved in the construction project.

One of ThyssenKrupp’s employees on the site was an elevator mechanic. He and several other employees engaged in what he called “picking on” each other and playing pranks in order to keep things light at work. They would also watch episodes of the television show Jackass and pornographic scenes on one worker’s iPod.