Complaint into RCMP workplace harassment initiated by Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP
The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, a federal body housed in Public Safety Canada department, has initiated a complaint and investigation into RCMP workplace harassment.
The November 16, 2011 news release announcing the complaint states:
Ian McPhail, the Interim Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (Commission) has initiated a complaint and a public interest investigation into the conduct of RCMP members regarding the handling of allegations of harassment within the workplace.
"I am satisfied that, given recent events, there are reasonable grounds for me to conduct a review of RCMP procedures pertaining to workplace harassment," said Mr. McPhail. read more »
The British Columbia Government has introduced amendments to the Workers Compensation Act that, among other features, broaden compensation coverage for mental stress conditions arising in the workplace.
The amendments were introduced in the legislature on November 3, 2011. In the government's news release, Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government Margaret MacDiarmid states:
Our government recognizes that we need to treat job-related mental stress the same way we treat physical illness and injuries. We know mental stress has a significant impact on workers, their families and their workplace.
The Ministry's Backgrounder that accompanied the news release states:
What are the effects of mental stress?
Since mental stress most often results in physical and psychological symptoms, it has a significant effect on workers and their families. read more »
Lauren M. Bernardi, a lawyer and human resource advisor with the Mississauga firm of Bernardi Human Resource Law, has prepared a list of the "10 Best Practices in Employment Law" (undated).
As further explained in the publication, her 10 best practices are:
- Use a complete hiring strategy.
- Use employment agreements.
- Use job descriptions.
- Use independent contractors only where appropriate.
- Implement employee policies.
- Use progressive discipline.
- Implement a harassment policy.
- Conduct performance evaluations.
- Document, document, document.
- Be fair.
Owner of work camp in oil patch found not to be "employer" for purposes of sexual harassment complaint
The court's decision is here: 375850 Alberta Ltd. v. Noel, 2011 ABQB 218.
The Alberta Human Rights Tribunal's decision is here: Beverly Noel and 375850 Alberta Ltd. (N2006/08/0134) (September 16, 2010).
A summary of the decision by LindaMcKay-Panos has been posted to ABlawg.ca. You can read it here: "Issue of 'Employment' in Human Rights Cases Arises Yet Again" (May 17, 2011).
The case of Elgert v. Home Hardware Stores Limited, 2010 ABQB 73 (CanLII), concerned a senior employee in a management position was dismissed for just cause based on alleged sexually harassment and insubordination. At the time, he had worked for Home Hardware for almost 17 years and was over the age of 50.
The alleged incidents occurred in late 2001/early2002 at the Home Hardware distribution centre in Wetaskiwin, an hour's drive from Edmonton.
The first complainant alleged that the Plaintiff, Mr. Elgert, pushed her into a dark storage room, pushed her up against a table, held her hands down and wiggled his body between her legs.
The second compliant alleged that a few months later while she was cleaning a first aid room in the warehouse, the Plaintiff entered the room, turned off the light and shut the door. He then bumped her backwards until she fell onto a cot. He laid on top of her, and lingered there.
One of the complainants was the daughter of the head of the distribution centre. read more »
Alberta lawyer Carolyn Hutniak has prepared some useful guidelines for employers on "Conducting A Harassment Investigation, The Do's and Don'ts" (undated).