Employer constructively dismissed employee after workplace assault

Muslim owner discriminated against non-Muslim worker by trying to transfer her after attack by Muslim co-worker
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/06/2016

An Alberta employer must pay 24 months’ wages and another $15,000 in damages to an employee who was transferred following an assault by a co-worker who shared the same religion as the owner, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal has ruled.

Aleksandra Andric was general manager of a hair salon in the West Edmonton Mall operated by Spasation. She was hired in 2000 as a receptionist and promoted to general manager in 2009. During her time with Spasation, Andric was considered a high performing employee who got along well with customers and had strong product sales.

On March 8, 2010, Andric was talking on the telephone at the spa when a co-worker came up behind her, grabbed her hair and punched her in the face. Police were called and a stylist working at the time said she saw the co-worker on top of Andric punching her. The stylist also said the co-worker’s husband tried to attack Andric as well but was held back. After the altercation ended, the co-worker and her husband left the salon, yelling at Andric “this is not over, you don’t mess with Allah.”