City had no grounds to suspend worker for harassment: Arbitrator

Investigation was expanded beyond incident in question: Board
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 11/02/2011

The city of Saskatoon did not have sufficient grounds to suspend a longtime employee for three days without pay following an investigation into claims of harassment by another worker, the Saskatchewan Arbitration Board has ruled.

Don Zapski was suspended in June 2009 after a female worker claimed he and two other employees at the city's water treatment plant harassed and bullied her, and discriminated against her and other women in their workplace.

The complainant, Dawn Dierker, accused the men of speaking negatively about her because she won her job over another male employee with more experience. She said they also commented on her personal appearance, including her weight, and they attempted to intimidate her into silence at meetings.