A recent (2011) CareerBuilder study shows that 27% of U.S. workers have felt bullied in the workplace with the majority not confronting or reporting the bully. Additionally: 11% of respondents say they felt bullied by a coworker, and 14% say they felt bullied by their immediate supervisor. Another 7% say the bully was not their boss, but someone higher up in the organization.
In Canada, employers have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to protect employees from harm that may occur in the workplace. The governing laws vary by province and territory, but the requirement is basically the same across Canada— employers are required to:
- Recognize signs of violence and harassment;
- Assess potential risks to employees and other bystanders (e.g., clients, customers);
- Establish procedures to control these risks;
- Educate employees, managers, supervisors and key personnel on these issues;
- Respond appropriately and conᴀdentially to issues (e.g., incidents, complaints) that are identiᴀed; And,
- Take reasonable action to resolve issues.
Progressive provinicial legislations are helping helping to change this picture and requiring accountability from employers to have policies and training in place that support more respectful workplaces (e.g. Bill 168 amendment to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act that came into effect June 15, 2010).
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