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R. Martin and Treasury Board (Solicitor General Canada - Correctional Service)
Before: R. Simpson
Appearances: Martin, for the Complainant; J. Climie and Charlene Sullivan, for the Respondent
Decision rendered: June 26, 1996
Complaint under section 133 of the Canada Labour Code (Code) - Harassment contrary to section 147 of the Code - the complainant, a correctional officer, had exercised his right not to work in a dangerous setting, that is, one that was not free of cigarette smoke - Health Canada confirmed that the complainant could not be exposed to cigarette smoke for health reasons - as smoking was very common particularly among inmates during the day in the penal institution in which he worked, the complainant was placed on a work schedule of afternoon and night shifts - the complainant alleged among other things that he was the subject of harassment as a result of invoking his right of refusal to work and that his new schedule of evening and night shifts constituted a reprisal for having invoked his rights under the Code - the complainant sought the payment of $71 for long distance telephone charges from home to Health Canada in relation to his condition as he maintained that he could not make the calls during normal office hours from the institution as he could in the past during day shifts - he also sought 15 days of sick leave allegedly denied as a form of reprisal against his refusal to work, as well as an order to a manager not to call him at home - the issue of sick leave was the subject of pending adjudication and thus was not dealt with by the Board - the Board found that even if it had the jurisdiction to entertain the complaint under section 147 of the Code, the employer's actions in placing the complainant on an evening and night shift schedule were reasonable in the circumstances and there was no merit to the complainant's allegations that he was the subject of harassment or some other violation of section 147.