What is Harassment?
Harassment is any improper behaviour by an employee, who knew or ought reasonably to have known would be unwelcome, that is directed at and is offensive to another employee. It comprises objectionable conduct, comment, or display made on either a one-time or continuous basis that demeans, belittles, or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment to an employee.
It includes the meaning given by the Canadian Human Rights Act; i.e. harassment based on the following prohibited grounds of discrimination: race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted.
Why be concerned?
Every staff member in an organization has a right to be treated with respect, and a responsibility to treat others in the same way. Everyone is responsible for creating a healthy workplace by nurturing a climate of cooperation, dignity, respect, and appreciation of diversity.
What does harassment look like?
The following kinds of conduct are usually considered to be harassment, whether verbal, physical, unsolicited, isolated or repeated.
- Unwelcome behaviour or actions;
- Offensive behaviour or actions;
- Sexual Harassment;
- Abuse of authority;
- Conduct that is discriminatory under the Canadian Human Rights Act.