Ridout Barron


Harassment in the workplace still a pervasive issue

In recent months, Canadian authorities have been investigating the continuing issue of workplace harassment, but this time they are turning their gaze inward. The investigation, conducted by the federal integrity commissioner, has been casting a light on harassment in governmental workplaces, both here in Calgary and across the country. Their findings prove that no workplace is free of this unacceptable behaviour, though hopefully calling attention to the problem will be the first step in remedying it. 

As part of this investigation, employees of public services have come forward to share their stories -- those they have personally experienced and those they have witnessed in their workplaces. Though many of these employees have left their places of business, many have also agreed to comment only under the condition of anonymity. Such is the influence harassment and bullying in the workplace can have on an individual. 

Some individuals reported seeing incidents of bullying, typically by managers to subordinates. Everything from harsh words to public criticism and humiliation was documented. Others reported being discriminated against on the basis of their gender or race. Still, others said they had lasting effects from the harassment, including post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Obviously the issue of harassment extends far beyond a minor work-related incident that can be dismissed. Calgary residents who have experienced harassment and bullying in their workplaces understand how damaging such treatment can be, not only to the individual but to the workplace as a whole. This is why legal standards are maintained to curb these sorts of incidents. When internal procedure fails, experienced employment attorneys are available to escalate the matter in court.

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Ridout Barron
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