Labour Rights Law associate lawyers Madeline Harden and Rebecca Jackson successfully prosecuted a “prohibited practices” complaint before WorkSafeBC (“WorkSafe”) against Dhot Enterprises doing business as Tri-City Animal Hospital in Port Coquitlam (the “Employer”).

On 27 May 2021, a WorkSafeBC adjudicator (the “Adjudicator”) held that the Employer unlawfully demoted and then dismissed its former office manager/veterinary assistant.

The former employee raised safety concerns about bullying and harassment and the Employer’s response to the potential exposure of other employees to COVID-19 in the workplace. After raising these health and safety concerns, the former employee reported them to both the Employer and to WorkSafe.

The Adjudicator concluded that the Employer took prohibited action by demoting and then dismissing the former employee contrary to Section 48 of the Workers Compensation Act. The Adjudicator held that, on the balance of probabilities, the Employer unjustifiably demoted and then dismissed the former employee. The Adjudicator concluded that the Employer’s decisions were retaliation for raising health and safety concerns and, thus, were tainted by an anti-safety animus. “[R]eporting health and safety concerns to WorkSafeBC is a protected activity under section 48 of the [Workers Compensation] Act” the Adjudicator stated.

The Adjudicator retained jurisdiction with respect to remedies that are intended to put the former employee in the same position they had been in if the prohibited action had not occurred, plus administrative penalties.

On behalf of our client, Labour Rights Law will vigorously pursue a claim for significant damages against the Employer for its unlawful conduct.

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