Ridout Barron


What employees can do when harassment is taking place on the job

Bullying can take on many forms, and it can happen anywhere – including the workplace. When harassment comes from a manager or boss, it leaves many Alberta residents unsure of what to do. There are definite things employees can do if they believe they are being bullied or harassed.  

The Alberta Human Rights Acts says employers are never allowed to discriminate based on any of the following:

  • race
  • age
  • colour
  • religion
  • gender expression
  • gender identity
  • ancestry
  • physical or mental disability
  • where a person was born
  • sexual orientation
  • source of income 
  • marital status

Further, the act stipulates that if anyone in the workplace – including an owner, manager or supervisor – makes threats of violence or harm, it goes against the rules of workplace safety. Constructive feedback to an employee is not considered to be harassment unless the feedback is given in an inappropriate way. Also, employees who believe they have been asked to complete a task that they think is unsafe have the right to refuse and talk to a supervisor or manager. It is up to the employer to remove any danger before asking an employee to do any job. 

When it comes to clothing worn in the workplace, an employer does have some say so. There may be a dress code in place that adheres to aesthetics, safety and health, and if there is such a code, it should apply to all employees. Alberta residents who have questions regarding workplace harassment may wish to speak to an experienced lawyer. Having some knowledge of the laws that govern the workplace may help an employee to know his or her rights.

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Ridout Barron

802 13th Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2R 0L2
Phone: 587-315-8454
Fax: 403-271-8016
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