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.
There is an endless list of requirements with which employers in Alberta must comply with regards to their employees. Employment contract disputes might arise when wage deductions take place. Under employment law, certain deductions are not allowed under any circumstances.
At an Alberta car dealership, a female salesperson used social media to accuse her employer of terminating her due to an inappropriate outfit. She posted her accusations on Facebook, alleging female workplace discrimination. According to the employee, a female colleague commented on her see-through top.
Under the Alberta Human Rights Act, employers must ensure no discrimination or harassment based on any of the protected grounds is present in the workplace. They must develop procedures and policies that are not discriminatory. In the event of violations of the AHR Act, the employer might be held liable, regardless of involvement in alleged infringements. Employers must address human rights concerns immediately.
More workers in Alberta and across Canada are learning about their rights in the workplace. Discrimination based on race, gender, culture, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or pregnancy is against the law. Furthermore, membership in a trade union or union activities may not be held against employees. Discrimination is a violation of employment and human rights laws.
Employers in Alberta may feel they have to walk on eggs when it comes to disciplining employees. Sometimes the courts choose the side of employees, causing the impression that employees can get away with egregious behaviour. One case like this involved the termination of an employee who apparently had a problem with alcohol.
The Alberta Human Rights Act requires that employers accommodate employees with special needs and limitations. Examples of employees who might require reasonable accommodation include those with physical or mental disabilities or special needs related to gender or religion. Employers are required to make exceptions or adjustments to work environments, procedures, rules and standards.
There is a fine line that business owners must not lose sight of in their recruitment. The Alberta Human Rights Act has clear guidelines, and non-compliance might lead to accusations of discrimination. Advertisements and job descriptions may not indicate that selection will be based on specific grounds. The prohibited grounds include religion, race, gender, colour, mental or physical disability, ancestry, age, place of origin, sexual orientation, family and marital status, and income source.
Employees in Alberta do not always fully understand the workplace rights they have. Misunderstandings could lead to avoidable employment contract disputes, which are less likely to occur when both employees and employers understand their respective rights. Employers cannot expect workers to pay for purchasing, cleaning and repairing work uniforms. However, many rights that employees think they have are not actually rights under employment laws.
Employees in Alberta often have questions about their legal rights. Although victims of discrimination in the workplace have protections under employment and human rights laws, how they choose to fight for their rights is essential. The avenue chosen will depend on the outcome they wish to achieve.