Years of service outweigh employee’s serious threat

Employee with 24 years of service reinstated after threatening to stab co-worker
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 09/04/2013

Trying to stick around

Threatening to stab a co-worker and slit him open is a pretty serious thing to do and would likely result in dismissal, right? With such an emphasis on preventing workplace violence and threats — particularly in Ontario with its Bill 168 amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act —an employee who makes such a threat is likely to be removed from the workplace permanently. But not always.

In any case involving consideration of whether there’s just cause, an employee’s length of service and previous disciplinary record can be mitigating factors that can make dismissal too harsh. Even if the employee threatened to stab someone.