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Employer’s Refusal to Stop Workplace Harassment Found to Breach Employment Contract
September 1, 2000

A recent decision of the BC Supreme Court touches on the issue of workplace harassment. In Morgan v. Chukal Enterprises, the defendant pub’s new kitchen manager treated the plaintiff, a thirteen year employee, with significant rudeness and hostility on a consistent basis. The defendant’s owners were found to have condoned that behaviour. The plaintiff eventually resigned and sued for wrongful dismissal. The court held that the refusal of the owners to stop the abuse fundamentally breached an implied term of the plaintiff’s employment contract that she would be treated with civility, decency, respect and dignity. The Court accordingly accepted that the situation was one of constructive dismissal, not resignation.