What Can You Do About Workplace Harassment?

Being harassed in your workplace can make you feel belittled, unsafe, and utterly powerless. Many employees know that they have a right to be free from workplace harassment, but exercising that right can be daunting and confusing, especially in the all-too-common case that the harasser is your supervisor.

Who can you call to step in and stop the harassment? When it comes to your workplace rights (including your right to a harassment-free workplace), you are your own first line of defence. You can enforce your rights by reporting workplace harassment to your employer. If things escalate to the point that you lose your job, you may be able to sue or bring a reprisal application against your employer.

Here are some steps you can take to respond to workplace harassment:

  1. Report up
    Report the workplace harassment up the chain of command. No one will help you unless you ask for it. If the harasser is your boss, report it to their boss. If your company has a human resources department, report it to them.
  2. Put it in writing
    Employment lawyers often say that if it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen. Put all workplace harassment complaints in writing, to create the documentary record. If you complained verbally, follow up with an e-mail. Document instances of harassment including dates, times, names, witnesses, and what was said.
  3. Demand Action
    It’s not uncommon for workplace harassment complaints to disappear into a pile of paperwork. That can only happen if you let it. If your employer is not taking your complaint seriously, or not addressing it quickly enough, make it known (preferably, in writing).
  4. Be the bigger person
    Rise above the harassment, remain professional, and do not engage with the harasser. Remember that it is your employer’s job (not yours) to deal with workplace harassment. Laughing it off, retaliating in anger, or escalating the situation is not only unhelpful, it could distract from the real issue -- the fact that you are being subjected to harassment.
  5. Talk to an employment lawyer
    Unfortunately, your employer may not always be receptive to complaints of workplace harassment. Your employer might claim that you misinterpreted the situation; they might take the harasser’s side; they might tell you that you have to deal with it; or they might even threaten you with discipline. If this happens, it may be time to speak with an employment lawyer to evaluate your options.

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A note from our long term disability lawyers

Taking a medical leave from work is not an easy decision to make. Concerns about providing for yourself and your family and keeping your job may cause you to want to push through your pain, but this won’t make your problems go away. Stopping work is often the smartest decision for your long term health and well-being, and your disability benefits are there to provide you with financial support until you can return to work.

If you have made the tough decision to stop working and apply for your short term disability or long term disability benefits, you may feel overwhelmed by the process and have questions that your employer and your insurance company are not able or willing to answer. Share is There to see you through and answer your questions.

Our Disability law firm knows what you have been going through

We understand that things have not been easy for you over the last little while. Your health has been suffering, you are unable to work, and now your insurance company, who was supposed to be there in your time of need, has decided they will not pay your disability benefits or respect your disability claim. These benefits exist to provide you with the financial support you need so that you can focus on your health and rebuilding your life. It is unfortunate that your insurance company has not lived up to its promise. If your disability claim has been denied, we will fight to get you the benefits you are entitled to. Our disability lawyers have helped thousands of Canadians get their long term disability benefits over the past 35 years, and we can help you too.

Our experienced disability lawyers can fight back on your behalf

Share Lawyers believes that every client who is dealing with a disability claim deserves superior personal service. To achieve that goal, we have developed our team of experienced, compassionate, and caring long term disability lawyers, law clerks, and administrative staff to meet all of your needs. Our team of experienced long term disability, life insurance, employment, and critical illness insurance lawyers have made successful claims against many insurance companies, third-party administrators and employers.

If you are unable to work, your disability benefits should be there to provide you with the financial support you need. While your insurance company may be focused on finding ways to avoid paying your claim, our focus is on what is in your best interest. When Share Lawyers gets involved, you have an entire team of lawyers that are there to support you and to fight for what is yours.

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In this video, we explain the role of a long term disability lawyer and how we can support you when you have been denied your long term disability benefits.

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