Ridout Barron


Harassment in the workplace carries a high cost

When the topic of bullying is addressed, most people immediately conjure an image pertaining to school children harassing one another. The truth is, however, that harassment of this type is just as prevalent in the adult world as it is in schools. Here in Alberta and elsewhere in the nation, governmental agencies are taking action to stem the tide of workplace harassment and bullying, in an effort to create safer workspaces for Canadian employees. 

Recent statistics suggest that roughly 40 percent of Canadian workers have experienced bullying in the workplace, and of these, nearly half suffer stress-related health issues as a result. Bullying is defined in this context as any behaviour that causes another individual to feel threatened, intimidated and/or humiliated in the workplace, and it is disturbingly common. In many cases, employers do not have proper infrastructure in place to handle these issues. 

This is why many provincial governments are forming special committees to address these deficiencies in workplaces. New laws require employers to have comprehensive best practices in place to handle employee complaints related to bullying in an internal capacity. Companies that do not comply with these regulations can face censure. 

Of course, as well intentioned as these efforts are, not every employer can be guaranteed to follow these directives. This is why Alberta residents experiencing bullying and harassment in the workplace are offered alternative solutions to handling these issues. Seeking the support of an experienced employment attorney is a good first step to take if the internal processes of a company do not succeed in stopping this behaviour in the workplace. 

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Ridout Barron
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