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Harassment and Bullying

Canadian employers are required to maintain anti-harassment and violence prevention policies.

Despite the best intentions of employers, bullying and harassment complaints are common within workplaces.  Under provincial legislation in Canada, such as human rights and occupational health and safety statutes, employees have the right to a workplace free from harassment and bullying.  Employers have a corresponding obligation to ensure a safe workplace and to investigate complaints.  Employers that fail to guard against these concerns leave themselves vulnerable to complaints, lawsuits and negative publicity.

How can employers protect themselves?

Employers should put in place practices and policies that guard against a poisoned work environment.  Workplaces should have policies directly targeted at bullying, harassment and violence, as well as policies that indirectly protect the workplace, including procedures for discipline, performance and social media use.

Employers should also take employee complaints seriously.  Some complaints may warrant the use of a neutral third-party investigator to ensure a fair and impartial investigation that will reduce workplace liability.

How can the experienced Canadian employment law team at Whitten & Lublin help?

First, employers should work with an employment lawyer with experience in Canadian law to ensure they understand their obligations and statutory requirements.  This includes:

  • Responding to employee complaints of harassment, sexual harassment, bullying and other similar claims;
  • Investigating complaints and writing compliance reports;
  • Determining appropriate employer responses to claims and guiding employers through claims and complaints;
  • Defending employee claims and lawsuits; and
  • Addressing confidentiality requirements and other potential sources of negative publicity.

The Canadian employment lawyers at Whitten & Lublin are here to help employers meet their obligations and take preventative measures against bullying and harassment in the workplace.  Whether you are looking to address concerns relating to a specific scenario, or wish to take proactive steps, we will work with you to understand your business needs.

Ensure your rights are protected by consulting with Whitten & Lublin, Employment & Labour Lawyers with experience in Canada.