Employee rights: How to handle threats on the job

April 2nd, 2018 in Employee Rights


Everyone has the right to go to work each day without possibly being harmed or threatened. When it comes to employee rights in the workplace in Ontario, threats doesn’t just include physical harm, but also the possibility of it. It also includes domestic violence situations since violence at home can also rear its ugly head in a workplace environment should a combative spouse show up at a job place. Violence can also include a customer who physically acts out or threatens an employee.

When it comes to any violent situation, or the chance of it, it is incumbent upon the employer to try to help the employee. Policies must be in place on the job to help employees when they’re threatened or feel unsafe. An all-encompassing plan dealing with workplace violence answers many questions about the work environment and also provides employee training on safety measures against workplace violence.


First, if an employee feels threatened, he or she should removed him or herself from the situation if at all possible and inform a manager. According to Canada Labour Code, an employer cannot force an employee to work in a place where the employee feels unsafe. In such instances, an employee has every right to refuse to work. If an employee has been violated, the person has every right to call police since physical violence is a crime and so is uttering threats. 

There is no place for violence anywhere and that includes the workplace. Ontario workers should be aware of their employee rights and those who have been threatened or physically assaulted on the job have every right to speak to a lawyer about what he or she might be able to do about it. A lawyer may be able to offer sound advice about the next steps to take legally.

Source:, “What should I do if someone at work is being violent or threatening me?“, Accessed on March 21, 2018