Former millwright suing Copper Mountain for wrongful dismissal

A former millwright with Copper Mountain Mining Corp. (TSX:CMMC) is suing the company for wrongful dismissal, claiming he and others labelled “union sympathizers” were harassed and bullied in a “highly poisonous work environment.”

Plaintiff Gordon MacMillan filed a notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court on January 19. He claims he was constructively dismissed in November 2017 after six years with the company. He claims “harassment and bullying permeated all levels of the defendant’s organizational structure.”

Employees who complained about or questioned company protocol were allegedly given a document called a “Hurt Feelings Report.” When they followed the company’s harassment and discrimination policy, MacMillan claims, supervisors would not take complaints to an audit committee for investigation and the behaviour was “allowed to continue unabated."

“In fact, many staff meetings started with a supervisor asking if anyone required a [Hurt Feelings Report],” the claim states.

Moreover, company management would allegedly leave writing on a break room whiteboard warning of mass layoffs, wage cuts and the elimination of breaks and sick days to intimidate staff. As well, MacMillan claims he and other employees in favour of unionizing were “openly mocked in the workplace.”

In August 2017, MacMillan claims he went on medical leave due to stress and anxiety induced by workplace harassment, and the defendant’s human resources manager allegedly accused him of lying while “demanding that he resupply the particulars of his harassment complaints.”

By November, he was medically cleared to return to work, but Copper Mountain’s human resources manager allegedly refused to allow him to return, which “clearly demonstrated that the defendant no longer intended to be bound by its contract of employment with the plaintiff.”

MacMillan seeks unspecified damages for breach of contract and wrongful dismissal. The allegations have not been tested or proven in court, and Copper Mountain had not responded to the claim by press time.