Employee Harassment, Workplace Bullying & Strata Corporations

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From time to time, we have the opportunity to review new Case Law in BC and across Canada through our membership with the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI http://www.ccivancouver.ca ), and we are also forwarded interesting Decisions from other jurisdictions by our colleagues in the legal world when they believe it will be of interest. This one certainly fits that bill.

In a case heard in April 2017 in the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario before Justice E. M Morgan, a condominium corporation was successful in getting an injunction against an owner who expressed their concern with building management, the maintenance of the building, the governance of the condo corporation, and many other issues in a manner found to be “oppressive” and which constituted “directed, ongoing harassment”. The Decision, or ‘Endorsement’ in the parlance of Ontario, can be found here.

While we are fortunate to deal mostly with reasonable Owners, Residents, and Strata Council members who comport themselves in a respectful manner, that is not always the case. The wording of this Decision is refreshing in that the language is very plain and it demonstrates that just because an individual feels they have the right to complain and/or behave in any way they see fit, use whatever offensive language they feel is appropriate, and take enormous amounts of people’s valuable time to satisfy what they see as justifiable queries or concerns, it does not mean they actually have that right.

Strata property management is a very rewarding and challenging field and, like many occupations that have these same characteristics, it comes with its challenges. Chief among those challenges is that we are helping people deal with concerns related to their homes.  A person’s home often represents their biggest investment –and  when there is a concern with a person’s home/biggest investment, that can start any situation from an already emotionally charged place. Stratawest Management takes pride in having the experience and skills to navigate hundreds of these situations on a daily basis in a successful manner; however, we also take pride in having a positive, supportive work environment and take any mistreatment of our staff or client colleagues extremely seriously and we will continue to do so.

This judgement reiterates that abusive behavior towards staff members is not something that needs to be tolerated.