Employee threatening another employee

Verbal threats should be taken seriously
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 01/11/2012

Question: How should an employer handle verbal threats from one employee to another?

Answer: It has always been the case that employers were responsible for providing a safe workplace for their employees. However, the nature and degree of this obligation has changed significantly in recent years.

The changes have been particularly dramatic in Ontario, where Bill 168 amended the Occupational Health and Safety Act to address, among other things, workplace violence and harassment. One aspect of the amendments was the recognition that threats can constitute violence in their own right. The end result is that while in the past, employers may have been able to comply with their duties without taking significant steps in the event of a relatively nominal threat, the action required on the part of employers has, in many circumstances, changed as a result of the changes in the legislation.