Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

T.M. v. Government of Manitoba: Important Lessons on Workplace Harassment for Employers, Employees, and Investigators

A recent decision of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission¹ has clarified the extent of an employer’s obligation to provide its employees with a safe and respectful workplace. The decision – the first time the Human Rights Commission has considered a complaint of harassment on the basis of sexual orientation – is a powerful one, and is full of important takeaways for employers, employees, and workplace investigators alike.

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Hindsight for 2020: reflecting on the past decade to help us navigate the next

2020 is around the corner.  Although I find this somewhat alarming and difficult to digest, I suppose the warning signs were fairly obvious.  And I’m not necessarily talking about self-driving cars and intuitive robots per se; just the inevitable passage of time.  As one decade ends and another one is due to commence,  it strikes me as an opportune moment for reflection: a time to look at what we have come to know about issues of harassment in the workplace and consider what insight the lessons of the last decade offer for the future of workplace investigations in 2020. 

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See Something, (Don’t) Say Something: New Research on Witnessing Workplace Harassment

Time and again we see a familiar story play out in the media and in our work as workplace investigators: troubling behaviour on the part of one or more employees that many other employees witnessed, but never reported to anyone. This is one of the most vexing problems those of us who care about addressing and preventing workplace harassment and discrimination face: why do so many people see or hear about inappropriate behaviour in the workplace and remain silent? And how can we motivate these witnesses – who we refer to as bystanders – to speak up?

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All I want for Christmas… is a harassment-free office holiday party

There’s a crispness in the air that reminds me that winter is just around the corner. At the risk of being “that person,” I love this season; sitting by a crackling fire with my family and a cup of tea is what I consider perfection. Like me, some human resources departments are also gearing up for their end-of-year gatherings – apparently, office holiday parties are back in style.

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