Harassment and Bullying: What Employers Can Do

Harassment is a form of discrimination that occurs when someone makes
unwelcome remarks or jokes based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour,
religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability,
or pardoned conviction. Bullying is usually seen as acts or verbal comments that
could mentally hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. Sometimes, bullying
can involve negative physical contact as well. Both harassment and bullying can
involve a pattern of behaviour that demeans, annoys, alarms, or verbally abuses
a person that is known or would be expected to be unwelcome.

Employers have a general duty to take all reasonable precautions to protect the
health and safety of employees. The most important part of a workplace
prevention program is management commitment that is best communicated in a
written policy that includes a system by which employees can report their
experiences of harassment and bullying.

Some general tips for employers
- Encourage everyone at the workplace to act in a respectful and professional
- Develop a workplace policy and program that includes a reporting system.
- Try to work out solutions before the situation gets serious or "out of
- Educate everyone about what is considered harassment and bullying, and whom
they can go to for help.
- Treat all reports seriously and address them promptly and confidentially.
- Train supervisors and managers on how to promptly deal with a situation,
whether or not a formal complaint has been filed.
- Have an impartial third party help with the resolution, if necessary.
- Address any potential issue as soon as possible.

Further Information

AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety