Workplace harassment occurs when a person is subjected to a course of vexatious comments or conduct that the perpetrator knows or ought to have known are unwelcome. It can include any repeated or persistent words, conduct or actions of either the employer or fellow employees.
Various pieces of legislation, such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Bill 168, outline provisions designed to protect workers against workplace harassment. Employers are expected to develop and implement policies in line with such legislation. Unresolved harassment can lead to such consequences as constructive dismissal or an application filed against the employer with the Human Rights Tribunal.
Harassment is also a form of discrimination under the OntarioHuman Rights Code. Some of the prohibited grounds for discrimination under the Code include family status, creed, citizenship, ethnic origin, colour, race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status.
For related case studies and more information on Harassment in the Workplace, search our blog.