MacLeod Law Firm Provides Advice to Employees Bullied and Harassed in the Workplace

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Nicole Simes, a lawyer at MacLeod Law Firm, provides tips to employees who are experiencing violence and harassment in the workplace. Ms. Simes comments on a recent decision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board which she believes is significant.

Nicole Simes - MacLeod Law Firm

Previously, the Board consistently dismissed these claims as long as the employer had followed its own program or policy on harassment. Now, employees who are terminated after complaining about harassment have more recourse.

Nicole Simes is a lawyer with MacLeod Law Firm, a Canadian Labour and Employment Law Firm. She reports that the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“the Board”) recently released a significant decision on harassment in the workplace. Ms. Simes believes that this decision signals the Board will continue to allow employees to claim damages if they are terminated after complaining about workplace harassment.

Simes reports that in a recent decision, Ram v Celco Inc., 2014 CanLII 74839, the Board allowed a claim against Celco Inc., arising out of the alleged mistreatment of a former employee, to proceed to the next stage.

According to Ram v Celco Inc., 2014 CanLII 74839, Ashley Ram was employed for Celco Inc., she alleges in her claim that she experienced workplace harassment at the hands of a co-worker and that she reported the treatment and her concerns to Celco’s general manager. She further alleges that she was dismissed from her employment because she complained about the harassment.

Simes explains that in the past, the Board prevented employees from claiming reprisal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act where their employment ended after a harassment complaint. “Previously, the Board consistently dismissed these claims as long as the employer had followed its own program or policy on harassment. Now, employees who are terminated after complaining about harassment have more recourse.”

MacLeod Law Firm provides tips to employees who may be experiencing harassment or violence at work:
1. Review the employer’s workplace harassment and violence policy and their human rights policy, if applicable.
2. Report the harassment or bullying to a manager or the human resources representative indicated in the harassment and violence policy.
3. Record details of the harassment. Keep a journal with dates and times and what is said or done. Keep records of any emails or letters received from the bully.
4. Do not retaliate. Engaging with a bully can escalate the situation and will make it more difficult for a those evaluating the situation in the future.
5. Know your rights. If your employer is not addressing your concerns speak to a lawyer who understands employment and human rights law in your region.

MacLeod Law Firm has represented 1000s of employees over the past 25 years. MacLeod Law Firm's practice includes wrongful dismissal claims, employee terminations, severance packages, employment contract review, employee resignation advice, human rights claims and workplace safety.

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Nicole Simes

Nicole Simes
Macleod Law Firm
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