As an employee, you have the right to a harassment-free workplace. If you are experiencing workplace harassment and your employer is not doing anything to alleviate it, it may be time to book a free consultation with one of our employment lawyers to help you learn and enforce your rights.
How we can support you
If your employer has not provided you with a harassment-free workplace, you may feel unsure of what to do next. Rest assured you are not alone. When you call Share Lawyers, you will speak with someone who knows what you are going through and can offer you the best possible advice at no cost to you.
Why you should contact us:
- It’s free to talk to us
- There are no fees unless you win
- We specialize in employment law and can go through your options
- We make arrangements for a free consultation with one of our employment lawyers to see how we can fight back you are experiencing workplace harassment
- We're there to answer all of your questions
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.
What is workplace harassment?
Workplace harassment is defined very broadly, and can refer to virtually any kind of vexatious comment or conduct which is known or ought reasonably be known to be unwelcome. Harassment typically (although not necessarily) refers to a series of incidents as opposed to one event. Harassment can also refer to sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances.
What are your employer’s duties regarding workplace harassment?
Your employer has a general duty to ensure a healthy, safe, and discrimination-free workplace. In most provinces, this includes a duty to take steps to protect employees from workplace harassment. More specific duties may vary from province to province, but may include the following:
- A duty to have a workplace harassment policy;
- A duty to investigate all complaints of workplace harassment;
- A duty to keep the details of investigations confidential;
- A duty to inform the parties of the outcome of an investigation.
What if my employer is complicit in the harassment?
Unfortunately, employers often mishandle workplace harassment. They may regard harassment as an interpersonal issue; they may treat both the victim and the harasser as “guilty”; sometimes, your supervisor or manager may even be the source of harassment.
Luckily for employees in most provinces, the law contains protections for employees stuck in this difficult circumstance. Specifically, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for making legitimate complaints of workplace harassment. This may not stop your employer from doing what they will do, if provides you with legal recourse in the event the worst-case scenario happens and you lose your employment.
What steps can I take to address workplace harassment?
You are your own first line of defence against workplace harassment. You can enforce your rights by reporting workplace harassment to your supervisor, your manager, your manager’s manager, human resources, or whomever else is designated to receive such complaints.
Here are some steps you can take to respond to workplace harassment:
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.
Put it in writing
Lawyers often say that if it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen. Put all workplace harassment complaints in writing, to create a 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.
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).
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.
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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Employment lawyer fees
We are different from other law firms dealing with employment law because we work on contingency and you do not have to pay any fees unless you win.* There are no upfront costs and there are no fees until we settle your case. Everything is results-driven, and we only get paid if you get paid. It is part of our Share Law Guarantee.
*certain exceptions apply and in cases where we are not able to offer a contingency fee retainer, we will discuss the other options with you.
How much time do I have?
Employment claims are subject to certain time limits. As soon as you have been terminated from your employment or feel that your rights as an employee have been ignored, we encourage you to contact the employment lawyers at Share Lawyers for legal advice and to discuss your case.
If you are experiencing workplace harassment and are unsure of your rights, we will review the details of your experience and talk you through all of your options — free of charge. It’s important to be informed about the employment process and to know your rights.
No fees unless you win your case
We understand your situation and that paying for an employment lawyer may feel out of reach. We are here to help you. That is why we offer a free consultation, why there are no upfront costs to you, and why there are no fees unless you win your case. You’re not alone. We believe in your case, which is why we only get paid when you do.
When you work with us, you get guidance and tools to help you along the way. You will become a member of a privileged group of clients that have access to our hub, called Life reBUILDER™, exclusively from Share Lawyers. It offers six unique services to help rebuild your life and get you back on track, beginning with the expertise of a full legal team all working for you.