The hefty cost of a hasty HR decision

A recent labour relations board decision weighs in on employers’ duty to protect employees from aggressive clients.

The hefty cost of a hasty HR decision
an style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px;">The decision to fire an employee just a day after she filed a complaint about a “disgruntled and aggressive” client was retaliatory and she is entitled to damages, according to a recent Ontario Labour Relations Board decision.
Abigail de los Santos Sands complained to her a manager at her then-employer Moneta Marketing Solutions about her concerns with aggressive clients with the hope that the company would develop specific procedures to deal with third part violence and harassment. The manager reportedly refused to consider the suggestion.
When de los Santos Sands followed up with the Ministry of Labour, prompting an MOL visit where an inspector told the employer to develop a violence and harassment policy, she was fired the next day.
“The employer terminated Ms. de los Santos Sands’ employment at least in part because Ms. de los Santos Sands had raised concerns about dealing with irate investors and wanted the employer to adopt a formal policy to deal with workplace harassment and violence,” board chair Kelly Waddingham wrote in the decision.
The board awarded de los Santos Sands almost $5000, and suggested it would have awarded more if the situation had not been mitigated when she found a new job the next month.

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