Woman sues territory for wrongful dismissal

A woman is suing the Yukon government, claiming she was fired because of safety concerns she raised.

A woman is suing the Yukon government, claiming she was fired because of safety concerns she raised.

Juanita Wood filed a statement of claim on May 27 in Yukon Supreme Court seeking compensation for lost income.

According to the statement Wood worked as a heavy equipment operator from Feb. 2014 to Feb. 2015 at the Ogilvie Camp on the Dempster Highway.

“The plaintiff states her employment was terminated (release on probation) … at least in part for raising safety concerns at her workplace,” the statement reads.

Wood, who is self-represented, is seeking to be reinstated at the Department of Highways and Public Works or in another department of the Yukon government.

She is also seeking all the wages she didn’t earn from the day she was fired, Feb. 5, 2015 until the day she gets reinstated.

On top of that she wants to be compensated for the overtime she said she would have made had she not been fired.

The Yukon Worker’s Compensation Health and Safety Board confirmed an investigation was completed last year at Ogilvie camp but wouldn’t release the file.

The board told the News that because of the civil lawsuit, they couldn’t release the information.

When contacted, Wood also refused to release the file, claiming it was inaccurate.

“I do not want to share that because there are many incorrect statements, erroneous findings of fact, etc. contained within it which I have not had opportunity to challenge,” she wrote in an email.

“Yukon’s Occupational Health and Safety law is so outdated that complainants must go to court to exercise their rights, hence the lawsuit.”

Wood also wants the court to order the government to remove her name from a “blacklist” she alleges the department keeps.

The Yukon government doesn’t maintain such a list, a spokesperson for the Public Service Commission told the News.

The Department of Highways and Public Works, named as a defendant in the lawsuit, said it couldn’t comment about the specifics of the case, but that in general reporting a safety concern is never grounds for termination.

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