Workplace harassment occurs in various forms and degrees of offensive behaviour. Some examples include sexual harassment, sexual assault, human rights breaches and the way in which an employer terminates an employee. Some forms of workplace harassment derive from management, supervisors, company owners or human resources personnel. Other forms occur by colleagues, other employees, and intra-office relations. Regardless of the source, workplace harassment of any kind is not tolerable.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act is likely to require employers to have in place human resources procedures and best practices manuals. These procedural documents are often referred to as workplace sexual harassment policies, workplace relationship policies, human resources policies, and the like. They are designed to provide a framework for complaints, escalating reporting measures, and investigations. These documents are intended to protect employees and employers equally. However, some employers do not have such policies or have inadequate policies.
Harassment of a sexual nature includes, but is never limited to, sexual jokes, inuendo, pornographic images and videos, sexualized conversations, leering, and touching of other employees in a sexual manner. The degree of the offensive conduct is measured by the Courts based on repetition, length of the conduct, type of conduct and the injury and impairment suffered by the innocent party. The Courts are increasingly intolerable of such conduct and their distain is reflected in their decisions and the compensation awards they Order.
We offer confidential client consultations, free from judgment and victimization. All information obtained and discussed is privileged and kept in strict confidence. We encourage those who are suffering to speak up and seek help. A variety of resources are available to those who have suffered from workplace harassment. We offer litigation, however complaints to the Employment Services Branch of the Ministry of Labour, as well as police intervention and various groups and organizations who offer help to those affected by harassment are alternative options.
Do not be intimidated. Those who perpetrate workplace harassment will utilize fear, victimization, consent, retribution and reprisal, manipulation, coercion, and employment termination as tactics to silence their victims. Employers may be directly involved in such conduct by their management, officers, CEO’s, human resources personnel, or owners, and attempt to protect non-arms length related employees. Attempts to sweep conduct of this nature under the rug of in-house investigations or the subtleties of verbal threats, are common tactics. Just because the conduct is ‘seen as’ jocularity, teasing or bantering, does not mean you or a Court will agree.
Documentation and preservation of digital and written evidence is essential, witnesses are key, but sometimes it is just you against them and Lemieux Litigation is here to help. We understand the complexities of workplace harassment.
If you have been subjected to workplace harassment, you should contact the experienced lawyers at Lemieux Litigation with offices in Barrie, Ontario for a better understanding of your case and to know your next steps. We offer certified specialist advice, with a proven track record of success at Trial. We serve clients in all of Simcoe County including Barrie, Innisfil, Orillia, Midland, and Alliston, as well as Bradford, Newmarket, Collingwood, and surrounding areas.
At Lemieux Litigation we will not ask for any upfront fees. You only pay us if we win your case. ‘No win, no pay lawyers.’