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Workplace instant messaging: Information overload

We all know that social media, electronic communications and the online world has changed how we interact socially. Who has the patience to leave a voice message for a friend about a restaurant meeting place, let alone listen to one? That’s what instant messaging is for. Short, efficient and no small talk. But, does this efficient communication work in the workplace?

 

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Ostracism is different from harassment – and sometimes worse

You might have seen instances of bullying or harassment at your workplace—we certainly hear about them frequently—but have you witnessed ostracism? A series of recent studies by Canadian researchers find that social exclusion is distinct from direct harassment and bullying, and can actually be more insidious.

 

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British Columbia workers’ compensation policies take effect Friday, November 1

In March 2013, the Workers’ Compensation Board released three new policies on the duties of employers, workers and supervisors with respect to workplace bullying and harassment. These policies come into effect on Friday, November 1, 2013.

 

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Is driving a bus unsafe? It depends who you ask….

A recent investigation and ruling by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (“HRSDC”) has found that OC Transpo, the public transit operator in Canada’s capital city, is not doing enough to protect its bus drivers from workplace violence as required under the CLC.

 

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Saskatchewan poised to enact the most far-reaching regulation to protect late night retail workers in Canada

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety has announced the enactment of a new regulatory amendment aimed at enhancing the protection of late night retail workers in that province. The new law comes into force on January 1st, 2013, and compels those operating late night retail establishments to conduct a hazard assessment and implement a range of specific crime prevention measures to protect late night retail workers.

 

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Expanded citizen’s arrest law and the Canadian workplace

The Conservative government is poised to enact the first substantive expansion of citizen’s arrest laws in Canada since 1955. The catalyst for the Bill C-26 amendment to the citizen’s arrest section of the Criminal Code of Canada was the 2010 case of Toronto grocer David Chen who faced criminal assault charges after performing a citizen’s arrest of a habitual thief he had seen stealing from his store earlier in the day.

 

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Slaw: New anti-bullying laws across Canada

Following the increased occurrence of bullying in schools among Canadian youths aged 11 to 16, and high-profile suicides of young persons due to bullying, several jurisdictions in Canada are in the process of enacting anti-bullying laws. The aim of the laws is…

 

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Employers must now treat verbal threats as serious offences under the OHSA’s definition of workplace violence

A recent labour arbitrator’s decision—to uphold the City of Kingston’s right to terminate a 28-year employee for issuing a verbal threat against a co-worker—was based in large part on the arbitrator’s view that “the classification of threatening language as workplace violence” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act represents a “clear and significant change” to the law in Ontario.

 

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Human rights and history

During my training workshops on workplace discrimination, harassment and violence participants often express interest in the topic of “political correctness.”

 

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The ‘Ministry’ will investigate complaints of harassment… Really??!!

As a human rights advisor and educator I was encouraged to overhear this educational conversation about harassment at Tim Hortons. I was concerned however that part of the message this group was hearing was incorrect and misleading.

 

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Violence and harassment prevention: Keep hate crimes in check!

You have a legal obligation to understand how the race, religion and sexual orientation of your employees can impact their safety at work. Understanding these factors will empower you to take steps to protect your workers from harassment and violence as required by the recent amendments to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (Bill 168).

 

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The case of ‘hazing’ and ‘horseplay’ in the workplace continued

In my previous post on hazing and horseplay in the workplace, I referred to a recent incident where photos and videos revealed some very questionable events involving management and employees of the City of Mississauga. Since the acts were potentially criminal, the police became involved and started an investigation. Although some have said that the employees consented to the horseplay and hazing, one may wonder if that was really the case.

 

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‘Hazing’ and ‘horseplay’ in the workplace – a serious matter for the employer

I recently read an article on “hazing” and “horseplay” in the workplace. Photos and videos revealed incidents where employees were subjected to some very unusual, and downright unacceptable, treatment in the transportation and works department of their municipal employer.

 

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Harassment has potential to breed violence when unchecked!

My colleagues and I recently made fun of the possible employment law issues that could come out of the implementation of full-body scanners as a form of screening device for airport security. But I never expected this, and so soon.

 

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Assessing risk in the workplace

Occupational health and safety legislation across Canada requires employers to identify any existing or foreseeable hazards that might arise in the workplace, and to conduct an assessment of these various workplace hazards that employees might be exposed to, or that may arise from the nature of the workplace, and the type and conditions of the work…

 

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