Posts Tagged: ontario workplace investigations

Employment Law Can Help You Deal With Bullying At Work

The Protection from Harassment Act was recently ruled by the Court of Appeal. This means that it is now more difficult for employees and managers to bring those responsible for bullying to justice. Companies should not be afraid to stand up against bullies at work, especially those who have a lot of authority, such as those in senior management positions

Many Employment Law specialists agree that the Court of Appeal has made it more difficult for staff members to be able to win a claim against bullying. The Court of Appeal’s latest ruling has made it more difficult for employees to file bullying claims. However, companies should not be content to ignore the problem and pretend that it will go away. A company’s legal advisor would advise that you investigate and document all complaints, as well as any subsequent actions, thoroughly interviewing everyone. Otherwise, it could be the company that is at the receiving end of a case and not the individual being held responsible.

A test case from two years ago showed that an employee can successfully claim bullying under Section 201 of the Protection from Harassment Act, provided they can prove at least two incidents. However, the Court of Appeal ruled that these incidents needed to be ‘oppressive & unacceptable, amounting to crime conduct’ rather than being ill-tempered and inappropriate. While this may indicate that the courts have taken a more thorough approach to determining what harassment is in the workplace, it doesn’t mean that staff shouldn’t be concerned about bullying allegations. Staff could quickly prove wrong or enter into lengthy, tedious legal battles. Complacency could make the difference.