Gun threat not serious, but lying about it was

Employer didn’t consider employee’s gun comment serious, but employee denied making it
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/17/2012

A British Columbia company had just cause in firing an employee for making a threat even though the company didn’t take the threat too seriously, an arbitrator has ruled.

Overwaitea Food Group, an operator of food chain stores based in Langley, B.C., had an employee at one of its stores who started working in 1980. Between 2001 and 2009, the employee was disciplined for various misconduct, including a verbal warning for using profanity and acting aggressively towards a co-work, a three-day suspension for insubordination towards her assistant manager, a one-day suspension for swearing at the assistant manager, and a written warning for not showing up to work. The operations manager gave the employee positive performance evaluations, though she was aware the employee was prone to angry outbursts.

In April 2010, the employee had medical issues which required accommodation. As a result, she worked mainly in price changing and not at a checkstand. A co-worker who was a friend of the employee was also being accommodated for a medical issue.