Every employer in Alberta has a legal obligation to provide a workplace free from harassment. This obligation extends to protecting you from harassing acts committed by other employees, management personnel, agents of the company, and clients or customers.
Many times, both employees and employers are not clear about what their obligations are and what harassment in employment actually means. Furthermore, many people who have been subjected to harassing behaviour are not aware of what they can do to remedy the situation.
What is harassment?
Harassment refers to comments or actions that are unwelcome or should be known to be unwelcome. An individual may be engaging in harassing behaviour even without knowing it, if they should have known that their behaviour is considered harassing. Harassment can be either verbal or behavioural.
Example: A superior (a manager) repeatedly makes inappropriate or offensive comments of a sexual nature in your presence. Such comments do not necessarily have to be directed at you, only that they are inappropriate, and uttered in your presence.
Example 2: A colleague of yours has been making inappropriate, racially-charged comments about you or in your presence. Although you have raised the issue with a superior, no action has been taken, and you continue to be subject to the offensive remarks.
To learn more about workplace harassment and the types of civil and human rights claims currently available in Alberta, please read our article on Harassment & Bullying.
If you know or think you have been the subject of harassment in your workplace, please connect with one of your lawyers as soon as possible. We will listen to your story, explain your options, and help you move forward.
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