What Should You Do If You Are Facing Workplace Harassment?
You may be experiencing workplace harassment. Occupational Health and Safety Act and Ontario Human Rights Code define workplace harassment as “a course of vexatious comments or conduct against a worker”.
Some examples of harassment can include threats, bullying, any form of intimidation, offensive comments and belittling behaviour.
Some forms of harassment may violate the Ontario Human Rights Code. People cannot be discriminated against based on race, religion, ability, sex or gender, and marital status.
A workplace must be harassment-free. This includes taking reasonable precautions to protect their employees in the workplace, as well as taking steps to deal with incidents of harassment that have occurred.
Steps for Addressing Workplace Harassment
The first step in dealing with workplace harassment is to witness it, and record what happened and who did it. You should also make note of any injuries; the chronological order of events; any steps you took to address the issue, and what you told your supervisor, as well as when. You should tell your supervisor or manager if you feel harassed at work. If you are part of a union, you may also contact them.
Human Rights Discrimination and Issues with Employers
If you have experienced harassment, you can go to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Discrimination is when someone treats another person differently than others.
You can report employers who are not following their own harassment policy to the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
Lastly, if you were pressured to leave your job due to the harassment experienced, this may be a case of “constructive dismissal”. Constructive dismissal is when an employer changes the work environment to be worse and it appears that they fired the employee.
We highly discourage anyone from seeking out legal advice through this article. If you have any questions about workplace harassment, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist Employment Lawyers. You can reach our office at 905-366-0202 or contact us through our website here.