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Simmer Down: Cool-headed responses to aggressive behaviour in the workplace

Thursday, October 7, 2021, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm ET

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Cathy Knapp



Tina-Marie Bradford

Staff Representative, Advocacy Department
B.C. General Employees’ Union
Mike Christie

Vice President, Human Resources
Halifax International Airport Authority


While rude, confrontational, and abusive behaviour is not a new challenge for workplace parties, the past year and a half has seen a noticeable uptick in people losing their cool as they deal with frayed nerves and increased frustration. Though it may fall short of violence or harassment, aggressive behaviour is nevertheless a significant workplace hazard that gives rise to responsibilities for both employers and unions. In this session, experts will explore the scope and root causes of workplace aggression, discuss the responsibilities of workplace parties in addressing aggressive behaviour, and provide practical guidance on how to foster a healthy workplace culture.

  • What types of behaviours are associated with workplace aggression, and how do they differ from behaviours that constitute violence or harassment? What factors are relevant to determining whether conduct is aggressive?
  • When can employers impose discipline for aggressive behaviour? In what circumstances might dismissal be warranted? Does provocation play a role in this assessment?
  • Do employers have a duty to inquire into whether a mental health condition might be contributing to objectionable behaviour? Is it possible for employers to accommodate an employee who has behaved aggressively while also fulfilling their obligation to provide a safe and harassment-free workplace? What is the appropriate role for the union in such situations?
  • To what extent are employers responsible for protecting workers against aggression from third parties such as customers or patients? What response is required from management in such circumstances?
  • What strategies can workplace parties use to de-escalate tense situations or respond to aggressive behaviour?
  • What organizational or systemic factors can lead to a higher incidence of workplace aggression? What steps can employers and unions take to address these factors and promote a safer, more positive workplace culture?


Additional Information

Valuable, up-to-date materials and case summaries will be available for downloading from our website. Each webinar is accompanied by a PDF of concise summaries of the cases discussed.

Webinar video and MP3 files are available for $265. Those who have purchased the live webinar may purchase the corresponding downloadable video and MP3 file for the discounted price of $165.

The video recording, MP3 file, and materials are available for download and viewing one business day after the live webinar. After purchasing, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access and download the video recording, MP3 file, and materials by visiting My Account and selecting Order History. For purchases for upcoming webinars, once the video recording and MP3 file and materials are available, registrants will receive an update e-mail informing them that the links are now ready.

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