Cause termination upheld due to undisclosed disability

Disability didn’t play a factor in employee’s dismissal following workplace threats, so there was no discrimination
By Ronald Minken
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 11/11/2015

These days more employees are willing to disclose their disabilities to their employers to trigger the employers’ duty to accommodate in accordance with human rights legislation. This creates a greater understanding between the employers and employees of the specific circumstances facing the employee in the workplace and adjustments can then be made to ensure a more productive working environment for all.
But what happens when an employee does not disclose a mental disability until after the employee makes violent threats in the workplace? What rights does the employee have in that situation? What obligations does the employer have towards the employee? Would the employer’s act of terminating the employee for cause be upheld or be viewed as an act of discrimination?

In a recent decision — Bellehumeur v. Windsor Factory Supply Ltd. — the Ontario Court of Appeal agreed with the trial judge that the employer’s termination of the employee for cause due to violent threats made by the employee was justified and not an act of discrimination.