Volume 3, Issue 11, November 2004
WORKPLACE BULLYING - THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE
In June of 2004 Quebec became the first province in Canada to pass legislation directed at Psychological Harassment in the workplace, or as it is more commonly called, Workplace Bullying. The Quebec government has defined Psychological Harassment as:
Psychological Harassment is vexatious behaviour that manifests itself in the form of conduct, verbal comments, actions or gestures characterized by the following four criteria:
• They are repetitive*;
• They are hostile or unwanted;
• They affect the person’s dignity or psychological integrity, and
• They result in a harmful work environment.
Sexual harassment at work is also included in this definition.
What is vexatious behaviour?
It is humiliating or abusive behaviour that lowers a person’s self-esteem or causes him/her torment.
It is also behaviour that exceeds what the person considers to be appropriate and reasonable in the performance of his/her work.
Psychological harassment may come from a superior, a colleague, a group of colleagues, a customer, a supplier…
* A single serious incidence of such behaviour may also constitute psychological harassment if it undermines the person’s psychological or physical integrity and if it has a lasting harmful effect.
This legislation will be coming soon to other parts of the country. The interesting aspect of this is that the onus is on the employer to make sure that the workplace is free from Psychological Harassment. You can liken it to Workplace Safety. If a situation is pointed out to the employer, it must be dealt with and cannot and should not be ignored.
We at the Mouradian Group have developed an amazing new program that deals with the three Rs of Psychological Harassment in the workplace. First we show you how to recognize Psychological Harassment, then we give you the tools to reform the behaviour and finally we give you policies to create a paper trail that will safely and legally remove the behaviour.
Changing a person’s mindset is not easy. Most harassers do not even recognize or believe they are the problem. That is why it was so important to come up with the definitions that I mentioned earlier. What I find most interesting is that I have been talking about these people for years. They represent my 2% society. Here are some interesting statistics that Pierre Ouellette, dug up. By the way, Pierre is a new associate with the Mouradian Group and we are pleased to welcome his aboard. Pierre is a graduate of Brock University (Hon. B.A. in Politics and Sociology) and McGill University (LL.B.) Pierre has served in a number of business capacities including that of Director of Operations with the Madison Monarch Corporation. He is a frequent lecturer on business and management topics.
THE DUTY OF THE EMPLOYER
While not binding upon Ontario Courts or Tribunals the decisions of the Quebec Commission overseeing the complaints of Psychological Harassment in the Workplace are certainly illustrative. That is particularly true when discussing the responsibility of the employer with respect to creating a harassment free workplace.
The duty of the employer is a positive one which means that he or she has a responsibility of providing a safe workplace, one without harassment. It is his or her responsibility to prevent any possible harassment and this means taking whatever measures necessary to prevent such treatment.
The employer cannot simply sit around and wait for a complaint. The policies against Psychological Harassment must not only be in place but also well circulated and well understood. And taking aggressive steps to remedy a situation after such harassment is first noted will not diminish his responsibility to the victim.
There are some valuable lessons to be noted in these cases and we will canvas many of them at our upcoming seminar. - Pierre Ouellette Hon. B.A., LL.B.
SOME FACTS AND FIGURES REGARDING PSYCHOLOGICAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE...
...bullying costs about $20,000 per case...
Canadian Business Magazine
Targets of workplace bullying endure their pain, on average, for 22 months...
Ivey Business Journal
As many as 10 per cent of...workers have been subjected to harmful workplace bullying, intimidation or belittlement...
Bullying closely resembles the phenomenon of domestic violence. ...shrouded in silence...[where] victims initially were blamed for their fate. Eventually behavior was deemed unacceptable.
Ivey Business Journal
...majority of complaints are coming from workers whose companies haven't established policies to deal with psychological harassment in the workplace.
Canadian HR Reporter
... the reason executives should care is that workplace bullying dismantles teamwork, hamstrings efficiency, hobbles productivity and, ultimately, costs money.
Canadian Business Magazine
STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE!
JOIN US FOR THIS TIMELY WORKSHOP!
THE 3 Rs OF PSYCHOLOGICAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE
A One-Day Seminar Presented by The Mouradian Group
Acquire Special 3R Strategies to -
Recognize, Reform or Remove the Workplace Bully!
Who Should Attend: Business Owners, Managers, Human Resources Administrators, Union Representatives, Volunteer Coordinators and Individuals who have faced Psychological Harassment in the Workplace.
When - Wednesday November 24th, 2004 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Where - The Mills Room
St. Catharines Public Library
54 Church Street , St. Catharines
To Register - Please Call (905-682-7380) or Fax (905-682-1501) Today!
Toll Free (1-877-393-3433)
Only $175 plus GST.
(Price includes lunch)
We Limit Enrolment to Assure Full Participation so Register Now!
Protect Your Employees and Your Business!
Protect Your Volunteers and Your Association!
Protect Your Members and Your Union !
Feedback from the October Caravan
Just got the latest edition of the Caravan and wanted to provide some feedback. I checked out the content of the e-mail on one of my favourite urban legend sites on the web (where people research and investigate the content of, among other things, e-mail legends) and found that most of the content of the "Life in the 1500s" e-mail has in fact been disproved. On the Snopes classification the content of this e-mail is classified as false and "In a nutshell, this whole thing is a hoax, someone's idea of an amusing leg-pull. It began its Internet life in April 1999."
If you want to check out the rather lengthy article that debunks each of these stories one by one, here's the address:
Just thought you might find this of interest, and speaking as someone who does a lot of communication via the internet and e-mail, and gets a lot of information like this in e-mails shared by friends, I have found the www.snopes.com site to be somewhat useful in checking the authenticity of legends, some of which are a lot more harmful than the content of this one.
Have a great day!
Thanks Kim. We always like to make sure what we are sending out is factual, that is why I mentioned that I did not know who the author was.
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