What You Need To Know

Workplace Bullying and Harassment

Employers and employees have a shared responsibility to create a respectful workplace. Unwanted behaviours in the workplace can range from offensive remarks to violence.  You need to know that workplace bullying and harassment is defined as any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew, or reasonably ought to have known, would cause that worker to be humiliated or intimidated. All of these apply to social media as well.

Examples of bullying and harassment include, but are not limited to:

Certain aspects of workplace behaviour which are NOT considered to be bullying or harassment include:

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is any uninvited conduct, comment, or physical contact of a sexual nature that is unwelcome by the recipient.  It includes, but is not limited to:

Canada’s Criminal Code deals with matters such as violent acts, sexual assault, threats and behaviours such as stalking. The police should be contacted in these situations. Harassment is a matter that falls under Prince Edward Island’s Human Rights Act, the Employment Standards Act, and the PEI Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Why You Need To Know

As an employer, you have specific duties with respect to workplace harassment and violence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Employment Standards Act, and the Human Rights Act. It is important that issues are addressed early to minimize the potential for workplace harassment which could further lead to workplace violence.

What You Need To Do

This information does not cover every situation or answer every question about your legal obligations, or otherwise, for addressing workplace violence and workplace harassment in Prince Edward Island. It also does not cover requirements for other workplace health and safety issues. You need to be familiar with all applicable legislation.

Specific information cannot be provided in this toolkit as every situation is different. Depending on the situation you may need to consult with the Human Rights Commission, the Workers Compensation Board (for Occupational Health and Safety), law enforcement, legal counsel, a trained workplace investigator, or a Chartered Professional in Human Resources.