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Category: Harrassment

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

Preparing for Workplace Assessment

Workplace assessment is an important early step in resolving conflict, but how do you get started? Here are two articles we wanted to share to help you prepare for the assessment process:

Workplace assessments: what you need to know

Janice Rubin, co-founder of Toronto law firm Rubin Thomlinson, says workplace assessments can be an invaluable tool to identifying inappropriate behaviour before it becomes a legal issue. Here, she explains exactly what they are and why HR professionals should adopt them.

Read the full article on Human Resources Director

What is Reasonable Management Action?

When a bullying or harassment complaint is made against a manager it is important to consider if the behaviour of the manager was bullying or Reasonable Management Action.

Read the full article on Australian Workplace Training & Investigation

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Here are two recent articles we wanted to pass on relating to sexual harassment in the workplace.

Respect@Work: Community Guide to the Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020)

Workplace sexual harassment is not inevitable. It is not acceptable. It is preventable.

Read the full article from the Australian Human Rights Commission

AHRC National Sexual Harassment Inquiry: Takeaways for workplace investigations

The Commission reports that sexual harassment in the workplace is “prevalent and pervasive” and occurs “in every industry, in every location and at every level”. The reported statistics are that 39% of women and 26% of men in the workforce report that they have been sexually harassed in the workplace. In addition to the personal costs, there are very real financial impacts, including from lost productivity and staff turnover.

Read the full article on WorkplaceSolutions

Workplace Conflict Vs. Bullying

For those of your with Lexology accounts, we recommend this two-part series on Prima Facia considerations regarding workplace conflict and bullying.

Is it Workplace Conflict or Bullying? Prima Facie Considerations

Read part 1 on Lexology

Read part 2 on Lexology

Preventing Workplace Harassment and Violence

There are new rules and guidelines for preventing workplace harassment and violence. Here are two good resources to help keep you up-to-date.

New Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Rules for Federally-Regulated Employers

The Government of Canada has published significant changes to the workplace harassment and violence provisions of the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”).

Read the full article on Lexology

Bill C-65 and the prevention of harassment and violence

2020 was supposed to be the year that Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence)¹ came into force.

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

Dismissal after one incident of sexual harassment

Did you know that a single incident of sexual harassment can be grounds for dismissal? It’s true, even for long-standing employees with otherwise clean records.

According to Canadian law firm Cassels:

The threshold for establishing just cause for dismissal is high. Courts consider a dismissal for just cause to be tantamount to “capital punishment” in employment law. Accordingly, the courts generally have been hesitant to uphold dismissals for just cause where an employee has long service and an otherwise clean disciplinary record.


The takeaway for employers is to be proactive about preventing issues from developing in the first place. Specifically:

  • Putting in place a workplace harassment policy
  • Training employees on that policy
  • Making sure employees understand the importance of the policy

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.

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: