Harassment and intimidation are ‘violence’

The grievor was aggressive and belligerent to a co-worker. The arbitrator found that the behaviour was both "harassment" under the collective agreement and, although there were no threats, "violence" under the health and safety act.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 01/18/2013

A worker was suspended for violating workplace policies against violence and harassment after he verbally abused a co-worker for using “his” forklift.

John Doe worked as a Material Handler at a distribution centre operated by a heating appliance manufacturer. J.D. had a good work record and two-and-a-half years’ service when he was disciplined for an incident that occurred on Feb. 23, 2012.

Shortly after arriving for his 7 a.m. shift, J.D. discovered that co-worker D.B. was using the forklift that J.D. habitually used. J.D. was irked by this apparent affront to the status quo. J.D. approached D.B. — who had been a friend up until this point — and loudly told him to “get the fuck off my machine.”