WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SEXUALLY HARASSED

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WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SEXUALLY HARASSEDPrepared by: Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of CrimeMarch 2018What is sexual harassment?Sexual harassment is any conduct, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to causeoffence or humiliation to any employee; or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by thatemployee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training orpromotion.Some examples of sexual harassment are: asking for sex in exchange for a benefit or a favourrepeatedly asking for dates, and not taking “no” for an answerdemanding hugsmaking unnecessary physical contact, including unwanted touchingusing rude or insulting language or making comments toward girls and women (or boys andmen)calling people sex-specific derogatory namesmaking sex-related comments about a person’s physical characteristics or actionssaying or doing something because you think a person does not conform to sex-role stereotypesposting or sharing pornography, sexual pictures or cartoons, sexually explicit graffiti, or othersexual images (including online)making sexual jokesbragging about sexual prowessbullying based on sex or genderspreading sexual rumours or gossip (including online).PrevalenceAccording to data from Employment and Social Development Canada on harassment and sexual violencein the workplace, nearly one-third of women in Canada have experienced some form of sexualharassment at work.What can you do?1. Talk to the harasser, make sure they know their behavior is unwanted.2. Complain to the employer. It is their responsibility to end harassment once they’re aware of it.

Under the Canada Labour Code, federally regulated employers have responsibilities tomake every reasonable effort to make sure that no employee is exposed to sexualharassment in the workplace.Provinces and territories also have guidelines about how employers should deal withsexual harassment in the workplace. In Ontario, employers should have sexualharassment policies in place, but it is not required. On the other hand, in provinces likeAlberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan there is occupational health and safetylegislation. This legislation demands that employers have a violence prevention programin place. In Quebec there is legislation on workplace psychological harassment. Otherprovinces are not legally obliged to address this problem through workplace policies, butthey still have obligations to prevent or deal with these issues.3. If the complaint is not dealt with properly, or the case is very serious, you can make a formalcomplaint. Each province and territory has a process to file a formal complaint: Alberta: Alberta Human Rights Commission (more info) (info sheet on sexualharassment) British Columbia: B.C Human Rights Tribunal (more info) (for assistance or helpwith your complaint, click here) Manitoba: Manitoba Human Rights Commission (more info) New Brunswick: New Brunswick Human Rights Commission (more info) Newfoundland and Labrador: Newfoundland and Labrador Human RightsCommission (more info) Northwest Territories: NWT Human Rights Commission (more info) Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (more info) Nunavut: Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal (more info) Ontario: Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (more info) (for assistance or help withyour complaint, click here) Prince Edward Island: Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission (more info) Quebec: Labour Standards, Pay Equity, Workplace Health and Safety Board (moreinfo) Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (more info) (forassistance or help with your complaint, click here) Yukon: Yukon Human Rights Commission (more info) Complaints related to federal government departments and agencies, and otherfederally regulated employers: Canadian Human Rights Commission (more info) There does not need to be a recurring pattern of behaviour or a series of incidents inorder to make out a successful claim. Majority of the human rights complaints nowconcern only a single incident of unwanted behaviour. Remedies the Human Rights Commissions might consider: an apology from the harasser the employer instituting a sexual harassment policy providing anti-sexual harassment education sessions paying a small amount of money for emotional harm re-instating victims who resigned as a result of the harassment

4. If you suffer financial and emotional loss, you may choose to sue the harasser and/or theemployer as well.The legal issue surrounding sexual harassment lawsuits is complicated and you shouldconsult with a lawyer specialized in labour law for assistance.5. Can someone be charged criminally for sexual harassment? Sexual harassment is criminal innature when the harassment involves attempted or actual physical assault, including sexualassault, or threats of an assault.This also includes situations of stalking, otherwise known as “criminal harassment”. Ifyou are forced into any sexual act against your will or you are touched in a sexual waywithout your consent, the harasser may be guilty of sexual assault.If this situation happened to you, you can report it to the police who will investigate thematter further.Getting Help – Legal Information Clinics & Legal AidAs stated in the Budget of 2018, the federal government wants to increase access to legal informationand support for Canadian workers who experience sexual harassment in their workplace, and supportoutreach and awareness-raising on this issue. Other key measures in this budget are providing legal aidfunding to support victims of workplace sexual harassment and protecting federally regulatedemployees from harassment and violence in the workplace.There are many legal clinics or legal information centres you can contact to obtain legal information,educational resources or legal referrals.AlbertaCentral Alberta Community Legal Clinic (Red Deer)Centre for Public Legal Education AlbertaPro Bono Law AlbertaWomen's Centre Legal Advice Clinic (Calgary)British ColumbiaCommunity Legal Assistance Society (Vancouver)Rise Women’s Legal Centre (Vancouver)ManitobaCommunity Legal Education Association (Winnipeg)Government of ManitobaNew BrunswickPublic Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick(Fredericton)Newfoundland and LabradorPublic Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador(St. John’s)Northwest TerritoriesNova ScotiaLaw Society of the Northwest Territories (Yellowknife)Legal Info Nova Scotia (Halifax)Nova Scotia Legal Aid (all offices across province linked here)Legal Services Board of Nunavut (Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet, Iqaluit)Nunavut

OntarioCommunity Legal Education Ontario (Toronto)Human Rights Legal Support Centre (Toronto)Legal Aid OntarioOntario’s Women Justice Network (Toronto)Ottawa Legal Information Centre (Ottawa)Prince Edward IslandCommunity Legal Information Association of Prince Edward Island(Charlottetown)QuebecÉducaloi (Montreal)Legal Information Clinic (Montreal)Young Women’s Christian Association Montreal Legal InformationClinic (Montreal)SaskatchewanCentre Info-Justice Saskatchewan (Regina)YukonLaw Society of YukonYukon Public Legal Education Association (Whitehorse)CanadaLegal LineWomen’s Legal Education and Action FundLabour LawsCanada Labour Code is the federal labour law and oversees labour and employment matters in thoseindustries that are inter-provincial and international. However, most Canadian labour laws are coveredby the provinces.AlbertaAlberta Labour Relations CodeAlberta Labour Relations BoardBritish ColumbiaBritish Columbia Labour Relations CodeBritish Columbia Labour Relations BoardManitobaManitoba Labour Relations ActManitoba Labour BoardNew BrunswickNew Brunswick Industrial Relations ActNew Brunswick Labour and Employment BoardNewfoundland and LabradorNewfoundland and Labrador Labour Relations ActNewfoundland and Labrador Labour Relations BoardNorthwest TerritoriesNorthwest Territories Employment Standards ActNorthwest Territories Employment Standards Office

Nova ScotiaNova Scotia Labour Relations ActNova Scotia Labour Relations BoardNunavutNunavut Labour Standards ActNunavut Labour Standards BoardOntarioOntario Labour Relations ActOntario Labour Relations BoardPrince Edward IslandPrince Edward Island Labour ActPrince Edward Island Labour Relations BoardQuebecQuebec Labour CodeQuebec Labour Relations BoardSaskatchewanSaskatchewan Trade Union ActSaskatchewan Labour Relations BoardYukonYukon Employment Standards ActYukon Employment Standards Board

ReferencesAnsari, S. (February 26, 2018). Sexually Harassed At Work? Here’s How To File A Formal Complaint. Châtelaine.Information retrieved from: -resource-guide-canada/Canadian Labour Relations. (No date). Canadian Labour Laws: Both Federal and Provincial Laws. Information retrievedfrom: bour-laws.htmlFederal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board. (No date). Labour Relations Boards across Canada.Information retrieved from: http://pslreb-crtefp.gc.ca/labour relations board e.aspGovernment of Canada. (January 4, 2016). Sexual Harassment. Information was retrieved harassment.html#s01Legal Line.ca. (No date). What to do if you are sexually harassed. Information was retrieved -do-if-you-are-sexually-harassed/Lublin, D. (November 30, 2017). What counts as workplace sexual harassment in Canada? The Globe and Mail.Information retrieved from: nos, L. (November 1, 2012). Sexual Harassment is a Continuing Issue in Canada. Information retrieved continuing-issue-in-canada/Morneau, W. F. (February 27, 2018) . Budget 2018 : Chapter 5 – Equality. Information was retrieved 05-en.htmlOntario Human Rights Commission. (No date). Policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment: Ways toaddress sexual harassment. Information retrieved from: arassmentOntario Human Rights Commission. (No date). Sexual Harassment in Education (brochure). Information wasretrieved from: on-brochureYosowich, M. (No date). Employer responsibilities dealing with sexual harassment complaints. Information retrievedfrom: nts/

There are many legal clinics or legal information centres you can contact to obtain legal information, educational resources or legal referrals. Alberta Central Alberta Community Legal Clinic (Red Deer) Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta Pro Bono Law Alberta Women's Centre Legal Advice Clinic (Calgary)

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