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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

When is enough enough?! Salanguit v. Parq Vancouver tells us when a complaint has been reasonably handled

We often hear horror stories about workplace complaints being handled poorly — instances where employers don’t act, investigators miss the mark, and so on and so forth. I’ll now be the bearer of good news and share what the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal (“Tribunal”) recently found to be reasonable handling of a complaint in Salanguit v. Parq Vancouver and another.

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Can jokes amount to harassment if no one told the jokester to stop?

“How was I to know they were offended by my jokes? They never told me they were uncomfortable.”

Jokes between colleagues can be an important contributor to positive workplace culture. Unfortunately, some employees are subjected to jokes and teasing that is offensive or demeaning.

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“Accent translation” software? It’s time to flip the script on linguistic hierarchies

Language discrimination is a harmful reality in many workplaces, and employers need to be proactive in not only preventing it, but in celebrating and promoting language diversity. In a world where 281 million people live in countries other than where they were born, and with a record number of Canadians (13%) reporting a first language other than English or French, this issue is more important than ever. The rise of controversial new voice-altering technology, which perpetuates existing hierarchies about who speaks English with the “right” accent and who does not, adds to this urgency.

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Investigations involving white fragility

If you are an investigator like me, you may have noticed the term “white fragility” has emerged in some of your cases, especially when the investigation involves claims of race-based harassment and/or discrimination.  This may be as part of a complainant’s allegation, as in the respondent engaged in “white fragility,” or as part of a respondent’s response, as in “this is not a case of ‘white fragility’.” The concept has sparked much debate, as not everyone agrees with it. 

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Put on your lens! The importance of having a critical race theory (CRT) lens when conducting a race-based workplace investigation

Like many of you, over the last couple of years, I have been hearing the buzz around the ban of the now controversial critical race theory (CRT) from some of our neighbours south of the border.

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