The Federal Court of Appeal recently heard an application for judicial review of a decision of the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board (the Board) in which the Board had found that an employer – the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) – failed to provide a harassment-free workplace for one of its employees.
In putting together our submission on what changes to the policy would help the Senate identify and address harassment in the workplace, we had to turn our minds to what makes working on Parliament Hill unique. This is a workplace that lends itself to extreme power imbalances between Senators and staffers; it is a space where harassment allegations can be both public and political; and it is an environment in which many staff members are skeptical that bad behaviour will result in real consequences for the perpetrator.
Now that we are one year into the #MeToo movement and (in Ontario) quickly approaching the two year anniversary of Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016 taking effect, we thought that it would be a good opportunity for a bit of a check-in.
Special note to BC readers: If this subject is of interest to you, you may wish attend our related workshop. Some spots are still open for the following session – we recommend registering soon. We hope to see you there. Conducting Sexual Harassment and Violence Investigations November 27-28, 2018 in Vancouver, BC This advanced-level training is
n employer’s recent application to dismiss a complaint at the BC Human Rights Tribunal—which the tribunal rejected—reminds us of the importance of training and policies to arm employees with the tools to respond appropriately to incidents of workplace sexual harassment.
While the promise of anonymity is often what gets complainants to come forward, once employers have that information, it can be difficult and sometimes impossible figuring out how to handle the complaint in a way that continues to protect anonymity. If the incidents described are specific enough and/or follow-up interviews identify the parties involved, the complainant is unlikely to remain anonymous for very long.
When it comes to making buying decisions, we all want the same thing: quality merchandise that is readily available, for a fair price. But this isn’t all – more and more consumers are factoring corporate image and business ethics into their buying decisions. We want to know how a business treats its workers, what impact its production methods have on the environment, and what corporate values it champions.
Special note to Ontario and BC readers: If this subject is of interest to you, you may wish attend one of our related workshops. Some spots are still open for the following sessions – we recommend registering soon. We hope to see you there. Conducting Workplace Assessments – June 20, 2018 in Toronto, ON Learn how