Ridout Barron


Amended law aims to address hostile work environments

Employees in Alberta might find comfort in the fact that the Canadian government passed an act that will amend the harassment and violence section of the Canada Labour Code. The aim is to eliminate hostile work environments and to instill a zero tolerance for violence, harassment and any measure of unacceptable behaviour. Authorities say training on all levels of an organization is needed to bring about the culture change that is required to eradicate workplace harassment

According to the new Bill C-65, any comments, conduct or actions that could cause humiliation, offence, or psychological or physical illness or injury to an employee or colleague are defined as harassment and violence. Employers must establish protocols that will prevent such incidents and respond effectively when such incidents occur. Furthermore, employers must provide support to employees who are affected by violence and harassment.

Employers must designate adequately trained individuals to receive and respond to complaints. Training must ensure that employees know and understand the rules as well as their responsibility to report any incidents or suspected incidents of harassment. The new law will allow employees who resigned to escape harassment to pursue remedy even after resignation.

Workers in Alberta who are victims of hostile work environments might be unsure of the steps they can take if their complaints are not adequately handled. A lawyer with extensive experience in dealing with matters that involve employment laws can assess the circumstances and suggest the most appropriate way forward. Whether this requires mediation or litigation, with a lawyer's support and guidance, the matter might be resolved in a way that will benefit the client.

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Ridout Barron
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