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Harassment / Bullying
Workplace harassment can be defined as any unwanted words or actions directed towards another person at work that are known or should be known to be offensive to that person. If you are an Alberta employee experiencing harassment at work, give Bow River Law a call and our employment lawyers can help you navigate the situation or fight for your rights.
Harassment and Bullying Legal Services
Harassment In The Workplace
Harassment at work can range from rude comments and belittling treatment, all the way to unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. Workplace bullying is a little more difficult to define, but generally it is viewed as targeted negative treatment at work that is designed to intimidate or terrorize another person, and it can include small, insidious things like spreading malicious rumors to social ostracism and exclusion to threats of job loss or even physical violence.
Every employer in Alberta is required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to have a policy about harassment and bullying in the workplace, and they are all required to have a process for receiving and investigating complaints. Unfortunately, many employers do not have the necessary policies in place, and even when they do, they often have gaps in them – such as what an employee is supposed to do when the person responsible for receiving harassment or bullying complaints is the harasser or bully in the workplace.
Whether an Alberta employer has a written bullying and harassment policy or not, our lawyers are skilled and experienced at providing employees legal and practical advice about their rights.
Bullying In The Workplace
When harassment and bullying in the workplace happen without resolution or accountability, they can lead to significant mental distress, mental illness, and physical health issues. They can rob people of careers they love, and create long-lasting, negative impacts.
If you are experiencing harassment and bullying at your workplace, please let us help you. The lawyers at Bow River Law have skill and experience with helping employees resolve toxic work environments where possible, and or advocating for employees’ legal rights where that is necessary. We also have experience helping Alberta employers understand their rights and obligations in this area, and helping employers resolve harassment and bullying matters before they escalate into lawsuits.
Let us help you.
- Harassment and/ or bullying in the workplace can be enough for a constructive dismissal claim by an employee in some cases
- Determining an employee’s rights and obligations in a harassment and bullying situation can be challenging, but the lawyers at Bow River Law know the area well and can help
- An employer has an obligation to keep the workplace safe. If the employer is not taking this obligation seriously, it could have serious civil liabilities to its employees and serious risk of an OH&S inquiry or penalty
- Sometimes harassing and bullying behavior is unintentional, and sometimes the alleged harasser or bully is innocent. Accused harassers and bullies have rights too. If you are an employee accused of harassing or bullying someone, you should speak to one of our lawyers as soon as possible to help protect your rights
- If you had your employment terminated right after making a harassment or bullying complaint, its possible your employer has violated its own policies or your rights
- If you had a harassment or bullying complaint made against you and your employer terminated your employment as a result, its possible your employer has violated its own policies or your rights
- The lawyers at Bow River Law have handled many cases of harassment and bullying at work in Calgary and across Alberta
Harassment / Bullying FAQ
- My boss is trying to get me to quit. What should I do?
Employers sometimes try to get their employees to quit, because they want to get rid of that employee but they do not want to pay severance. However, depending on what is happening, it might be “constructive dismissal”, and you might still be entitled to severance if you quit. Speak to an employment lawyer for help.
- I am being bullied and harassed at work. Should I just quit?
Bullying and harassment in the workplace can cause a “constructive dismissal” in many cases. Before you issue your notice of resignation, speak with an employment lawyer to determine if you have a case for “constructive dismissal”, and how to leave your toxic workplace while still preserving your legal rights.
- Where can I turn if Harassment and Bullying at work has left me severely depressed?
We can help you with legal representation if you have experienced harassment and bullying at work. If you need psychological help as well, some public information is available at Alberta Health Services.
- Is my boss allowed to yell at me?
Your boss is not allowed to yell at you and treat you poorly. In many cases this can qualify as harassment or even “constructive dismissal”.
- What should I do if my boss wants me to sign a warning letter for harassing another employee?
If your boss wants you to sign a warning letter for harassing another employee, it is important that you speak to an employment lawyer about the potential consequences first
- I was fired right after making a bullying complaint. Can my employer do that?
If your employment was terminated right after making a bullying complaint, it is a suspicious termination and might violate your employer’s policies or your rights. You should speak to a lawyer right away.
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