Harassment is any single or repeated occurrence of inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or gesture, or incidents of bullying that the person knows or ought reasonably to know could have a harmful effect on the employee’s psychological or physical health and safety.
Harassment includes conduct that is based on any personal characteristic such as, but not limited to, race, creed, religion, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, family status, disability, physical size or weight, age, nationality, ancestry or place of origin.
Harassment also includes any inappropriate sexual conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to the person responsible for the conduct to be unwelcome., sSuch as,conduct includes, but is not limited to:
- sexual solicitation or advances,
- sexually suggestive remarks, jokes, or gestures,
- circulating or sharing inappropriate images, or
- unwanted physical contact.
Reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor related to the management and direction of employees, such as performance reviews, work evaluation, and disciplinary measures taken for any valid reason, is not harassment.
Workplace Harassment Prevention Policy:
All PEI businesses must have a harassment prevention policy in place. All workers must be informed of the policy, and educated on harassment prevention, reporting and investigation. Businesses must ensure prompt and appropriate action is taken if there is an issue.
Harassment prevention responsibilities of supervisors, managers, and employers include:
- Treating all employees, clients, suppliers, and contractors with respect
- Refusing to tolerate harassment - put a stop to it immediately
- Dealing with harassment allegations seriously, speedily, and confidentially
- Reporting or investigating all complaints
- Ensuring the policy is readily available to workers; and
- Addressing workplace harassment by identifying the source and taking reasonable steps to remedy the effects of the harassment.
Harassment prevention responsibilities for workers include:
- Treating other employees with respect
- Speaking up when harassment occurs
- Maintaining confidentiality
- Reporting harassment to the appropriate person as soon as possible; and
- Cooperating in an investigation, if required.
CFIB members can contact Business Resources to get a complimentary PEI Harassment Prevention Policy that includes a sign off sheet, incident form and investigation template.