• Once Bullies On The Schoolyard, Now Bullies At Work: What Employers Can Do To Protect The Workplace
  • March 30, 2004 | Author: Debra Singer
  • Law Firm: McMillan Binch LLP - Toronto Office
  • Emotional and physical harassment are not confined to the schoolyard. Bullies eventually grow up, but their tendencies to dominate do not always dissipate. Many employers traditionally think of harassment as "sexual harassment" and design policies to address these types of incidents, leaving employees to settle conflicts between themselves. Recognizing that harassment takes many forms, the province of Quebec has gone so far as to outlaw "psychological harassment" in the workplace. Moreover, Bill C-451, which was introduced at the federal level, proposes to prohibit this type of harassment under the Canada Labour Code. To date, no other province has followed suit. But like it or not, this issue is not going away and employers are best advised to deal with the matter head-on. A proactive stance will aid in combating the effects of workplace harassment, which manifest themselves in a number of ways including decreased productivity, increased sick leave due to stress-related illnesses, high staff turnover, and low morale.