Canadian employers should be looking at their workplace harassment and violence policies following a recent international treaty. The Canadian Federal Government signed the International Labour Organization’s Violence and Harassment Convention. This treaty will take great strides towards preventing harassment and violence in the workplace, and should send a strong message to workplaces that these concerns are being prioritized.
Among other things, this treaty will recognize:
- The right to work free from violence and harassment;
- That workplace violence and harassment can constitute a human rights violation, and may be a threat to equal opportunities;
- The importance of workplace culture based on mutual respect and dignity;
- The responsibility to promote an environment of zero tolerance to violence and harassment in the workplace;
- The impact of harassment and violence on a person’s psychological wellbeing;
- That violence and harassment may prevent access to resources or the labour market in general, particularly for women;
- That violence and harassment is incompatible with the promotion of sustainable enterprises and will negatively impact the overall wellbeing of an organization;
- That gender based violence and harassment disproportionately affects women and girls; and
- That domestic violence can affect employment relations and workplaces.
While many of these concerns are addressed in existing provincial and federal legislation, this new treaty represents a stand of solidarity with 24 other countries (and counting) in preventing workplace violence and harassment.
If you or someone you know feels that they are experiencing workplace violence or harassment, it is important to speak with an experienced employment lawyer to understand your workplace rights. The experienced employment lawyers Whitten & Lublin are happy to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances. If you are looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667.
Author – Rachel Patten