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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101047
Experience:  Lawyer
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My wife was subject of verbal assault, harassment, and bullying

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My wife was subject of verbal assault, harassment, and bullying at work for 8 months before having to go on STD for stress. She recently filed a complaint with the Human Resources department of the employer and with the support of the Union. Now the Union and the Lawyer engaged by the employer to conduct the independent investigation have mentioned that she waited too long. Also, the few witnesses that could have presented their statements are scared of retaliation and have backed out. Today she was asked to go home with pay and wait for the resolution. She is mad, frustrated, and in extreme suffering. She wants out. The question is, if she quits, what repercussions could we expect from the employer? Can we expect a law suite?
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What does the collective agreement say about how much notice an employee must give, if any?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi there. I tried to reply in the box provided but the web application threw an error. Anyway. You asked about the notice required. It would be 5 business days since I have been at work for 1 year.


Is she willing to give them this 5 days notice?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes. But what she wants to know is if the Employer would file a law suit against us or if the harasser may seek legal action against her.


Why would the employer sue her if she gives the appropriate notice?

And why would the harasser?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The employer prohibited her from discussion the issues with others. She didn’t, however, the employer again today said that they had warned her not to talk to anyone so now she is now concerned is being set up because she reported the harassment to the Deputy CAO, and Executive Director, a Director, and her union reps. So she is concerned that she is being set up.

The harasser has the support of his director and are in collusion. All witnesses may have been intimidated and hence may not have provided statements. Then there is independent advisor who asked for information about her previous employers and employment history

I understand all that but that doesn't give anyone grounds for suing her. If she doesn't listen to the employer that may be grounds for dismissal but it's not grounds for suing her.

So if she decides she simply doesn't want to stay with the employer she is free to leave just like any other employee.

Is may be she is being set up. But that's no reason to think they will sue her.

Does that make sense?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks very much. Finally, when I resign I suppose my ROE will say resign, right? In addition, she was asked to go home with pay. Can she give the five notice under this circumstances?..... Thanks

I would say that she can take the position that she was constructively dismissed and so should be entitled to EI if that's the concern.

And I can't see why she cannot give notice while she is home with pay.

There is another issue she should think about it. She is not able to sue the employer the way a non-unionized employee could but she may be able to seek damages from the union if they did not represent her fairly.

So in my view your wife's next step should be to briefly consult with a lawyer face to face before she says or does anything more.

You can contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be free.

The number is:

1-800-661-1095 or
403-228-1722 in Calgary
Debra and other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you