• Worksafebc's Policies on Workplace Bullying And Harassment Take Effect on November 1, 2013: Is Your Organization Ready?
  • October 31, 2013
  • Law Firm: Singleton Urquhart LLP - Vancouver Office
  • In March, 2013 the Board of Directors of WorkSafeBC approved three new policies to prevent and address bullying and harassment in the workplace. WorkSafeBC has prepared a toolkit to assist employers with compliance with the new workplace bullying and harassment policies; that toolkit can be found here: http://www2.worksafebc.com/Topics/BullyingAndHarassment/Home.asp.

    The definition of bullying and harassment that WorkSafeBC has adopted is: “ includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that worker to be humiliated or intimidated”.

    In order to comply with the new policies every employer in BC must:

    Develop a policy statement with respect to workplace harassment and bullying not being acceptable or tolerated;

    1. Take steps to prevent (where possible) or otherwise minimize workplace bullying and harassment;
    2. Develop procedures for employees to report incidents of bullying or harassment;
    3. Develop procedures for how such complaints will be investigated, addressed, and recorded;
    4. Inform employees with respect to the new policy;
    5. Train supervisors and employees on the recognition, response, and reporting of bullying and harassment;
    6. Review the policies and procedures annually;
    7. Not engage in the bullying and harassment of employees and/or supervisors; and
    8. Apply and comply with the policies and procedures introduced.

    In the circumstances now is a good time to review your organizations policies. Employers would be well advised to review their extant policies and make those amendments necessary to ensure compliance with WorkSafe’s new policies and to take steps to train supervisors and managers on the new policies as soon as practicable.