Workplace Harassment Law
The Occupational Health and Safety Act is the legislation that prohibits harassment in the workplace.
Workplace harassment can take many forms from the familiar, bully-like behaviour to unsolicited sexual advances. Further examples of workplace harassment include:
- Offensive or sexual jokes and gestures
- Displaying sexual material in your work space or computer
- Exchange of inappropriate email messages
- Offering a benefit in exchange for a sexual favour
- Physical contact of a sexual nature
- Spreading rumours
- Sexual Assault
Harassment can come from anyone in the workplace including customers, clients, co-workers and superiors. It can be a pattern of ongoing behaviour or a single, serious incident with long-lasting emotional and psychological consequences.
Employees have the right to be heard and have their concerns properly investigated. Workplace harassment is finally being addressed with the seriousness it deserves and new legislation guaranteeing harassment-free work environments is finally giving workers the protections they deserve. It is therefore the duty of employers to have policies and procedures in place to prevent and address harassment.