Worker’s Angry Behaviour & Threat of Violence Justified His Firing

After a worker refused to do his assigned task, he was told he was suspended for a day. He became belligerent, told supervisors they could ‘fuck’ themselves and made obscene gestures. He went to his car but, instead of leaving, he drove back to the office and began yelling obscenities again. He also said, ‘I’ll be back and fucking shoot you.’ Part of the altercation was caught on videotape. The city fired the worker. An arbitrator ruled that his termination was justified. The worker’s threat of violence violated city policy and the OHS law. The arbitrator rejected the union’s argument that the worker’s comments were ‘shop talk’ and he was just blowing off steam. Given his anger and aggressive behaviour, the city had reason to be concerned for the safety of its staff, concluded the arbitrator [Toronto (City) v Toronto Civic Employees Union, Local 416, [2015] CanLII 15347 (ON LA), March 24, 2015].