Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace
Generally defined as any behaviour that demeans, embarrasses, humiliates, annoys, alarms, or verbally abuses a person that is known or would be expected to be unwelcome.
Bullying is both obvious and subtle
Bullying usually involves a pattern of behaviours with repeated incidents
- Malicious rumours
- Social exclusion
- Impeding work
- Physical abuse
- Offensive jokes
- Intrusion on privacy
- Using profanity
- Constant criticism
- Unwarranted punishment
What the law says
Most Canadian jurisdictions have specific workplace violence prevention and/or harassment legislation. In some situations, human rights legislation will apply. All employers have a general duty to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of employees.
What workplaces can do
- Encourage everyone at the workplace to act towards others in a respectful and professional manner.
- Develop a workplace policy and program that includes a reporting system.
- Educate everyone about what is considered bullying and harassment, and whom they can go to for help.
- Train supervisors and managers how to follow up on problem situations, whether or not a formal report has been filed.
- Treat all reports seriously, and investigate them promptly and confidentially.
- Try to work out solutions before the situation gets serious or "out of control".
- Have an impartial third party help with resolution, if necessary.
If you think you are being bullied or harassed, report your concern to the person identified in your workplace policy or your supervisor.