Bullying is usually seen as acts or verbal comments that could “mentally” hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. Sometimes, bullying can involve negative physical contact as well. Bullying usually involves repeated incidents or a pattern of behaviour that is intended to intimidate a particular person or group of people.
Violence and harassment is an unfortunate reality of society – and of the workplace. Since April 1, 2019 (when New Brunswick’s new workplace anti-violence and harassment regulations took effect) every Canadian province and territory has an occupational health and safety regulatory scheme dealing specifically with workplace violence.
Under the common law, and specifically under Sections 25(2)(h) and 32.0.5 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario), every employer has a duty to conduct a workplace investigation after an incident of workplace violence has allegedly occurred. In other words, if an employer gets a complaint about violence at work, or if the employer witnesses violence at work, it must conduct an investigation.