Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 4:45 PM

Questions and Answers on SJSEL Workplace Investigation

The decision to suspend the Growlers pending the outcome of an independent investigation into allegations of disrespectful workplace conduct was not made lightly. Nor does it have anything to do with any announcements made by team ownership about whether or not they plan to build a new arena for the team.

Tenants with leases to play at the former Mile One Arena have all signed a Safe Workplace Agreement that protects the parties from discrimination and harassment, including any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour.

On October 25, Deacon Sports and Entertainment Limited (DSE) was informed that employees of St. John's Sports and Entertainment Ltd. (SJSEL) had brought forward allegations of disrespectful workplace conduct against staff at DSE. Following this notification, more allegations came forward, and on October 26 the Board and City Council staff met to discuss the actions the Board could take.

The Board considered the nature of the allegations against the Growlers’ organization and the fact that the Board has a duty under legislation to provide a safe workplace for its employees and protect them from potential further harm. Based on the circumstances, the decision was made to suspend DSE from access to the building until the matter could be investigated by an independent, experienced labour relations investigator. 

Why didn’t we just remove the people involved from the situation and continue on with the scheduled games?
While we cannot disclose details about the allegations because that disclosure is protected under legislation, we cannot continue to allow our staff and DSE to have interactions. This is for the safety, well being and mental health of our employees, and for the protection of all individuals who will participate in the investigation. There is no way to continue on at this point as if things were normal; they are not.

Are you using your employees as an excuse to evict the team from the facility?
This is categorically false. 
The Board and by extension Council takes its responsibility to these employees very seriously and would never use them in any way.

Is the timing of this more than coincidental? 
The team has been talking about moving or building a new arena for several months. This has nothing to do with that - or with the fact that tickets were not on sale October 20 as originally planned - and everything to do with respectful workplace conduct allegations.

Media Release, October 27, 2021