Armoured car employee’s work refusal due to Christmas crowds was not justified

No proof the holiday shopping crowds presented a danger: Adjudicator
By Adrian Miedema
|employmentlawtoday.com|Last Updated: 04/26/2018

A federal adjudicator has decided that an armoured car worker was not justified in refusing to do a “run” at a mall because of the crowds during the Christmas shopping season.

The employee claimed that due to crowds, he was unable to maintain a “21 foot perimeter” when he went into the mall, crowded with Christmas shoppers, and that that put him at increased risk of a robbery. He therefore argued that under the Canada Labour Code, he was justified in refusing to work.

The adjudicator rejected the employee’s argument, finding that the evidence had not proven that there were serious crowds at the mall in the morning when he did the “run.” Further, there  had not been a robbery at the particular shopping centre in the last 10 years. The adjudicator concluded that the employee was not exposed to an imminent or serious threat to his life or health. Therefore his work refusal was not justified.

For more information see:

  • Pogue v. Brink's Canada Ltd., 2017 CarswellNat 8663 (Can. Occupational Health & Safety Trib.).

Adrian Miedema is a partner with Dentons Canada LLP in Toronto. He can be reached at (416) 863-4678 or adrian.miedema@dentons.com. Adrian's discussion of this case also appears in the Dentons blog www.occupationalhealthandsafetylaw.com.

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