Ridout Barron


Government launches survey about hostile work environments

The Canadian government recently announced a survey to be conducted between Feb. 14 and Mar. 3, meant to tackle issues in workplaces across the nation. Alberta residents were given the opportunity to answer questions pertaining to hostile work environments they have experienced. Topics for consideration included, but were not limited to, sexual harassment and violence. These issues remain prevalent in Canadian workplaces, leading some employees to seek legal support. 

Approximately 6 percent of Canada's workplaces fall directly under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and it is these workplaces at which the survey was aimed. The intent is to determine whether changes can be made to the current Labour Code to address problems in federally-run institutions. The intent of the survey is for Canadian workers to have the opportunity to share their experiences with this kind of harassment in the workplace and offer suggestions on how to improve. 

The confidential 21-page survey included questions targeting particular areas where the government feels improvements can be made. One question, for example, asked participants why they did not report an incident of harassment, and offered responses such as "did not think I would be believed" or "seemed too minor to report". The hope is that, through this feedback, the Labour Code can be updated to streamline complaint processes and shore up codes of conduct across the nation. 

Hostile work environments can take on many forms, and not all of them can be fully policed by the government, as some Alberta residents are keenly aware. This is why it can be so valuable for a victim of this sort of treatment to seek out legal representation from an experienced employment law attorney. The expertise of such individuals can go a long way toward solving workplace harassment issues and even effecting lasting change. 

Source: cos-mag.com, "Government seeking input on harassment, violence in the workplace", Colin Perkel, Feb. 23, 2017

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