Name tags and violence in the workplace

September 24, 2019
Photo of BSO with words "Name tags and violence in the workplace" along with a name tag with the word "target" on it

It is now almost seven years since the CBSA began forcing us to wear name tags. In that time, we’ve suffered countless incidents of workplace violence as defined in Part 20.2 of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (COHSR).

Our names are used to threaten us at work. We are threatened on social media. We are threatened at home. We are stalked. Travellers show up at our homes. Criminals show up at our homes. Our loved ones are endangered.

Our employer’s response to the violence created by this policy is to remind us that we must take precautions to protect ourselves outside of work. That’s right; the CBSA is protecting us against violence by having us look out for ourselves.

Part 125(1)(z16) of the Canada Labour Code (CLC) mandates that the CBSA “take the prescribed steps to prevent and protect against violence in the work place”. Part 122.2 of the CLC mandates that “elimination of hazards” be the first preventative measure employed to address a hazard. The CBSA has failed to remove the danger and has failed to protect its employees against workplace violence.

We, as employees, also have obligations under the CLC. Part 126(1)(h) mandates that we “report in the prescribed manner every accident or other occurrence arising in the course of or in connection with the employee’s work that has caused injury to the employee or to any other person”.

To hasten the end of this ill-conceived policy, we ask that you follow the steps below for any name tag related violence you’ve suffered in the past and every incident you suffer in the future, whether it happened at or outside of work. A local CIU representative or member of your workplace health and safety committee will be able to assist you in completing these steps.

  • 1- Complete a LAB 1070 Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Report Form.
  • 2- Submit a workplace violence allegation (see instructions below).
  • 3- Advise a local CIU representative that you’ve done both.
  • 4- Explore a claim with your Provincial Worker’s Compensation Board.

Together, we can keep each other safe. By coming forward, we can accomplish what your employer has failed to do.

Instructions for submitting a workplace violence allegation

To submit a workplace violence allegation, send the following to your immediate Supervisor, and c.c. a local Union representative. Once the employer replies, we will be able to assist you navigate the process. The investigator’s report will eventually be shared with your workplace health and safety committee, who will participate in implementing measures to prevent what you’ve suffered from happening again.

I, [insert name], allege that I have been the victim of workplace violence as per the definition contained in Part XX of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. I request that the investigation procedure set out in Part 20.09(1) of the Regulations be initiated.

The following is a brief summary of my allegations: (…)

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