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Category: In the News

Harassment, Sexual Harassment & Violence

These two recent articles on mediating workplace sexual harassment and preventing violence and harassment in the workplace caught our attention:

Mediating Workplace Sexual Harassment: The Road Less Taken

A claim of workplace sexual harassment involves more than two parties: the complainant, the alleged harasser and the employer, each bringing different interests to the table. However, one common factor that all fear is the hideousness of these claims. 

Read the full article on Mediate

Bill C-65: Importance of violence and harassment risk assessment

When establishing programs for the prevention of violence and harassment, organizations must consider all the hazards and related risks that could lead to workers experiencing violence or harassment.

Read the full article on Talent Canada

Articles on Mental Health

Mental health is a major topic in the news right now, from law enforcement to workplace investigation to even the stress of working from home. Here are some recent mental health-related articles we wanted to share:

Canadian police officers fear stigma of reporting mental health issues: survey

A cross-Canada survey of more than 800 officers has found that despite beefed-up officer wellness programs and growing awareness about the psychological toll of the job, stigma still surrounds mental illness in policing.

Read the full article on the Toronto Star

Feeling exhausted after video chats? There’s a reason for that

Technology like Zoom — which surged from 10 million users to more than 300 million in a matter of months last year — places physical restraints on users, requires more cognitive labour, can amount to an “all-day mirror,” and forces everyone to stare at each other.

Read the full article on CTV News

Trauma-informed Interviewing: Lessons for Harassment Investigators

Whether it be past inter-generational trauma, military service, violence or even the alleged events currently being investigated, interviewing a witness burdened with traumatic memories is becoming an increasingly common occurrence in workplace investigations.

Read the full article on Lexology

News on police harassment, brutality and ethics

Here are three articles relating to issues within police forces we wanted to share.

Ottawa police launch project to tackle sexual violence and harassment in its ranks

The [Ottawa Police Service] last week refused to detail the numbers but revealed the cases on Monday as part of announcing a joint project with the police board to tackle workplace sexual violence and sexual harassment, prompted by multiple allegations of sexual harassment against the second-in-command of the entire organization.

Read the full article on the Ottawa Citizen

‘We need to raise the bar’: Ottawa police launch ethics and respect directorate amid string of misconduct probes

After a spate of recent misconduct investigations involving multiple Ottawa police officers, the service has officially launched a new directorate to deal with workplace harassment, discrimination and ethics.

Read the full article on the Ottawa Citizen

Police brutality: Let’s get serious — training can’t touch this

In Chicago, the police department is calling for mandatory training — specifically on what is called “positional asphyxiation.” Calls for training are not only too little, too late, but they are a common institutional response to crises around racism, discrimination, harassment and abuse. Even former Vice President Joe Biden is advocating for much the same. 

But is that the answer? 

Read the full article on The Hill

Recent news on workplace harassment

Workplace harassment and discrimination has been in the news a lot this past month. Here are three articles we came across recently:

Female police officers come forward with allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination

Effy Zarabi alleges that while working in the Toronto Police Service, she experienced a steady barrage of unwanted sexual advances, racially explicit materials and inappropriate and sexualized messages, some targeted directly at her.

“I think everybody would say, well you knew what you’re getting yourself into,” Effy recalled, “but you really don’t. You don’t know until you get there.”

Read the full article on CTV News

Federal Court certifies $1.1B RCMP bullying, harassment class action

The Federal Court has certified a $1.1-billion class action alleging RCMP leadership fostered and condoned an environment of systemic bullying, intimidation and harassment.

The federal government attempted to shut down the class action last summer, arguing that its own internal processes — updated in 2014 following numerous reports of sexual harassment — were adequate to deal with the claims.

Read the full article on Global News

Auditor general finds CSC, CBSA fell short in response to workplace harassment

Workplace harassment, discrimination — even violence — have been well-established problems at the federal government organizations responsible for managing Canada’s border points and correctional institutions.

Despite this knowledge, Correctional Service Canada and the Canada Border Service Agency didn’t do enough to address these issues and facilitate respectful workplaces.

Read the full article on the Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Police 2019 Report on Workplace Behaviour & Violence

The Ottawa Police force’s annual “positive workplace” report for 2019 was received by the board this month. Here are some of the findings:

  • There were 61 behaviour complaints and five incidents of workplace violence reported in 2019.
  • Officers and employees reported dealing with “disrespectful communication related to inappropriate behaviour, gossip and general lack of respect.”
  • There were also complaints of “personal harassment in the form of bullying, intimidation, yelling, swearing, rumours and conflict.”

Click here to read the full news article on the Ottawa Citizen website.

Internal report on the RCMP’s suicide prevention programs

An internal report has just been released on the RCMP’s suicide prevention program, as a follow-up the suicide of an officer in 2016.

The report says a national study should look into the work and life factors that put members’ mental health at risk, and should find out whether members “are succumbing to mental illness for endemic reasons within the control of or further influence by the employer.”

The report also calls for a strategy to better detect symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and to improve training to teach Mounties to recognize warning signs in themselves and their colleagues.

It also recommends increased aftercare support for staff when someone in a detachment dies.


You can read the full article here:

Looking Back at 2019, Looking Forward to 2020

Happy New Year from Blue Mediation!

We had a busy year in 2019. Workplace harassment was in the news a lot, including these two articles from this past December:

What will 2020 have in store for workplaces? This article shares a few ideas about what we might look forward to: