Employment Law

Workplace Bullying: Employers Are Making Expensive Mistakes

Workplace Bullying Toronto Employment

Bullying In The Workplace

A new nationwide survey reveals that most workplaces continue to ignore reported cases of workplace bullying and harassment, a decision that could end up costing employers tens of thousands of dollars in severance payments and legal fees via constructive dismissal claims.

Half of Canadians Experience Workplace Bullying: Survey

From a random sampling of more than 1,800 Canadians, polling firm Forum Research found that 55 per cent of respondents were bullied or had co-workers who experienced bullying on the job.

While one in two employees reported bullying to their employer, only a third of workplaces took steps to bring an end to the bullying.

Workplace Bullying and Constructive Dismissal

“In this day and age there is no excuse for an employer to ignore reports of bullying at work. Employers have a clear duty to protect their employees from all forms of verbal, physical and mental harassment in the workplace,” said Chantel Goldsmith, a Toronto employment lawyer and partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. “Any employee who endures bullying that goes unaddressed by the company should speak to an employment lawyer about a potential claim for constructive dismissal due to a poisoned or toxic workplace. They could be owed full severance pay, and quite possibly additional damages, such as aggravated or punitive damages.”

The survey noted that when employers did take immediate action upon learning of harassment issues, two-thirds of surveyed workers reported that the response was effective.

“Employers need to encourage all employees to report incidents immediately,” noted Goldsmith. “Businesses also need to have in place clear policies and procedures regarding bullying, and what to do when it occurs. Employers should be proactive when it comes to the safety and well-being of their employees.”

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