What to Do while facing Workplace Harassment

What to Do While Facing Workplace Harassment?

What Constitutes Workplace Harassment?

News broke recently that a former strength and conditioning coach for the Toronto Argonauts is suing the CFL team for wrongful dismissal, and star quarterback Chad Kelly for violations of the Ontario Human Rights Code in the form of harassment.

The plaintiff claims, in a recent filing with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, that she was subjected to ongoing harassment by Kelly. Beginning with unsolicited romantic advances, it intensified to Kelly making intimidating threats.

Harassment is defined as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” If that conduct also includes unwelcome romantic or sexual advances, or is based on a characteristic like gender, disability, age, creed, or race, then the harassment can also constitute discrimination.

Every employee has the right to a workplace free of harassment, and employers have a duty to intervene when an employee makes a complaint or if they are made aware of it in other ways. This involves investigating the allegations and taking appropriate action to address the harassment, which may include removing the alleged harasser from the workplace.

What Are the Potential Consequences of Employer Inaction?

If an employer fails to take appropriate steps to address the harassment, this can be considered a breach of the employee’s contract that would entitle the employee to wrongful dismissal damages. Employees are also entitled to protection from retaliation for bringing forward complaints of harassment. An employer who engages in any kind of retaliation may be liable for additional damages for bad faith conduct.

How can Whitten & Lublin help in case of Workplace Harassment?

Facing harassment and bullying in the workplace can be very upsetting and difficult to address. Our team of experienced employment lawyers is here to assess your situation, and to work with you to navigate your options to protect you from harassment and retaliation from your employer.

If you are or have recently been facing harassment and bullying in your work, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation. You can easily book a session through our online portal or by giving us a call at (416) 640-2667 today.

Author – Aaron Zaltzman