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‘Don’t worry about me, I carry weapons’: employee’s violent statements warranted serious discipline but not dismissal

By Adrian Miedema

An electrician’s comment, ‘Don’t worry about me, I carry weapons’ and ‘it would really feel good to kill something today’, constituted workplace violence but did not warrant dismissal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held.

The employee had a strained relationship with an electrical foreman. When a female co-worker noticed her in distress about the presence of the foreman, she offered to accompany the employee to the washroom. The employee then made the ‘weapons’ comment, afterwards saying that she was referring to the tools that she carries, such as an electrician’s knife and spud wrench, but that she would never harm anyone except to defend herself. Later in the day, in a meeting with her supervisor and union representatives, she complained again about the foreman and said that she ‘had a knife’…

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