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Public Safety

Study on sexual harassment in the federal workplace released

Topics: - Sexual Harassment
Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women has released its study on sexual harassment in the federal workplace: A Study on Sexual Harassment in the Federal Workplace".

The summary of the study is as follows:  read more »

Ontario court confirms that employee with "anger management issues" not disabled under Code

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Public Safety

In Gulick v. Ottawa Police Service, 2012 ONSC 5536, the Ontario Superior court confirmed that an employee with "anger management issues" was not disabled for the purposes of the Ontario Human Rights Code and thus not entitled to accommodation.

Specifically, the court stated the following in this case, which involved the dismissal of a police officer:

[15] While the incident giving rise to the disciplinary hearing did involve
some consumption of alcohol and medications, the Hearing Officer found as a
fact that the incident was triggered by anger management issues with which the
applicant had been struggling for several years.  The Hearing Officer found
that alcohol was, at most, an exacerbating factor.  We are not aware of any
jurisprudence which has established that anger management issues will support a
finding of disability.  read more »

Complaint into RCMP workplace harassment initiated by Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Public Safety

The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, a federal body housed in Public Safety Canada department, has initiated a complaint and investigation into RCMP workplace harassment.

The November 16, 2011 news release announcing the complaint states:

Ian McPhail, the Interim Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (Commission) has initiated a complaint and a public interest investigation into the conduct of RCMP members regarding the handling of allegations of harassment within the workplace.

"I am satisfied that, given recent events, there are reasonable grounds for me to conduct a review of RCMP procedures pertaining to workplace harassment," said Mr. McPhail.  read more »

BC arbitrator addresses whether existing employees can be required to submit to periodic criminal record checks

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Public Safety

In the May 14, 2010 labour arbitration decision in Vancouver (City) v. Vancouver Firefighters' Union, Local 18 (Police Records Checks Grievance), [2010] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 81, a BC arbitrator addressed whether an employer could introduce a policy that would require unionized employees in certain designated positions to submit to updated criminal record checks every five years.

Jennifer Roper, at Roper Greyell in Vancouver, has written an article about this decision ("Can Employees be Required to Submit to Criminal Record Checks?") for the firm's September 2010 newsletter.  read more »

Former Vancouver police officer obtains $2 million out of court settlement in wrongful dismissal case

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Public Safety

Both the Vancouver Sun and Globe and Mail newspapers carried stories this week about former Vancouver police officer Allen Dalstrom obtaining a $2 million out of court settlement in relation to a wrongful dismissal case.

This is a significant settlement in any wrongful dismissal case, particularly one involving a police officer who is reported to have been earning about $100,000 a year.

Although this week's media stories provide a lot of the colour about the case, I relied mainly on the decision in Dalstrom v. Organized Crime Agency of BC, 2008 BCSC 844, which dealt with a pre-trial application, for my summary of the facts and proceedings below.  

Background

Dalstrom was a long term police officer with the Vancouver Police Department. In 2000, he was recruited to join the Organized Crime Agency of British Columbia ("OCABC").

The OCABC is responsible for combating organized crime in BC and Dalstrom was appointed supervisor of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Team.  read more »

Off-duty transit officer entitled to workers' comp benefits for injuries sustained confronting intoxicated driver

Topics: - BC WCAT - WorkSafeBC
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The Vancouver Sun published a story today ("Off-duty transit officer wins precedential injury compensation") about a recent BC Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal decision in which a transit police officer was awarded workers compensation benefits for injuries he sustained, on a day-off, confronting an intoxicated driver.

The Sun's story was spurred by a news release issued yesterday by the transit police officers' union, the Canadian Office and Professional Employees' Union, Local 378 (COPE 378).

The WCAT decision (WCAT-2010-01816) was issued on June 30, 2010. As noted in the decision, the issue before the panel was "whether or not the worker's multiple soft tissue injuries arose out of and in the course of his employment entitling the worker to compensation under section 5(1) of the Act.".  read more »