Constructive Dismissal

Toxic Workplace

The OLRB considered this issue and concluded that there was real doubt as to whether an employee may condone a toxic working relationship: 1

I am not sure the concept of condonation can have any application to circumstances where bullying, in the nature of yelling, demeaning and profane comments, menacing body language, and threats of legal action are concerned. This is not analogous to a situation where an employee who does not complain relatively promptly might be deemed to accept the amendment of a bonus scheme, for example.  That is because such a scheme may properly constitute an acceptable term of an employment agreement. By contrast, bullying can never constitute an acceptable term of an employment contract.

In a second case founded upon an abusive working relationship, the Board allowed for a consideration of personal factors impacting upon the delay of the applicant to take immediate action. The employee had worked 34 years for the business and was unable to take prompt action due to health of his spouse and the impact losing his employment would have upon his family’s finances. Three months and three works from the date of the last incident was seen, in this context, as reasonable. 2