Ridout Barron


Anti-bullying legislation may prevent hostile work environments

Canadians often have legal recourse if something goes wrong at work, and the Canadian Labour Code (CLC) is often updated to reflect the modern workplace. One Alberta woman is taking a stand for a clearer definition in the CLC of psychological violence in the workplace. She hopes that those who are suffering from hostile work environments due to bullying behaviour from colleagues can benefit from these proposed updates.

The Alberta woman suffered for five years from what she calls psychological violence campaigns in the workplace. In that time, she says she suffered repeated acts of discrimination and harassment, including isolation, exclusion, intimidation, and verbal insults. She wants to use her experience to bring a positive change to others who have had similar experiences in hostile work environments.

The woman requested similar legislation be passed provincially and was involved in the introduction of Bill 208 in 2016. The bill, which makes harassment policies mandatory at work, would only help people in Alberta. The woman has collected 500 signatures on a petition sponsored by a Member of Parliament. It will be tabled after Sept. 23 in Canada's House of Commons.

The proposed changes to the CLC, if enacted, will also apply increased responsibility for treating both the victims and perpetrators of bullying behaviours. Those who have suffered from hostile work environments may have recourse even without the proposed changes, especially if they were wrongfully terminated or suffered psychological damages as a result. An Alberta lawyer may be able to help people who have experienced these issues understand their legal options.

Source: metronews.ca, "Calgary woman puts forth federal petition to change Canadian Labour Code", Lucie Edwardson, Sept. 20, 2017

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