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Ontario Court of Appeal Takes a Strong Stance on Workplace Harassment

In Hucsko v. A.O. Smith Enterprises Limited, 2021 ONCA 728, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the for cause termination of an employee who had sexually harassed a co-worker. Prior to terminating the employee, the employer issued a final warning and advised the employee that he must complete sensitivity training and apologize to the complainant. The employee refused to apologize and denied any wrongdoing.

In response, the employee was terminated for cause. The Court of Appeal found that the employee’s conduct of engaging in sexual harassment and in refusing to comply with the reasonable corrective action imposed by the employer resulted in a breakdown of the employment relationship and warranted termination for cause.

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