City of Vancouver proclaims A Day to Celebrate Workplace Respect and Responsibility

By Joanne Abshire
March 15th, 2012
News 1130

Are you or is someone you know being bullied at work?

The City of Vancouver is proclaiming today “A Day to Celebrate Workplace Respect and Responsibility” in an effort to raise awareness and stop this from happening.

At least one organization is going much further than prevention; BullyFreeBC is looking at creating an employment standard to help victims.

Robyn Durling with the group tells us the current human rights legislation only covers bullying or harassment related to gender, race, sexual orientation and religion. She says that’s a problem.

“If you’re just being bullied because [your boss] doesn’t like you, there is very little protection, especially in the non-unionized workforce,” he explains.

Durling is describing a common scenario for some victims. “[They say] ‘My boss keeps harassing me, keeps bullying me, and it keeps going on and on. I complain about it, but it doesn’t stop; what are my options? My options are somewhat limited.'”

That’s why his group is trying to get a work-safe policy in place, “[A rule] that would allow some administrative body to investigate complaints as necessary and to intervene and protect people.”

“Then [WorkSafeBC] would investigate it as they would as any other workplace incident but the triggering event would be bullying as opposed to being injured,” he adds.

Other provinces like Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Ontario have psychological harassment policies in places of employment. The closest rule currently in BC is related to mental stress. But that can only be triggered by a single traumatic event, not a gradual onset like bullying.