The Arbitrator found that as the public transit provider for the City of Toronto, the employer has a right to establish a social media presence through a Twitter account for the purpose of communicating with the public and with its users. However, it further found that the employer was also providing a forum for haters and abusers to abuse bargaining unit members, and had not dealt effectively with that abuse.
The Arbitrator ruled that it was clear from the totality of the evidence that the employer failed to take all reasonable and practical measures to protect bargaining unit employees from online harassment by members of the public, as required in Ontario by the Human Rights Code, the Union Agreement, and the employer’s Workplace Harassment Policy. Under these, the employer is required to provide a workplace free of harassment. The Arbitrator concluded that not only was the employer’s conduct contrary to its obligation to provide a workplace which is safe and free of harassment, it was also a breach of the privacy rights of bargaining unit members, and destructive to the concept of dignity.
Toronto Transit Commission and Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113, 2016 CarswellOnt 10550