Alberta employers are required to provide their employees with a violence-free workplace. Admittedly, it can be difficult to know when a particular person could commit a violent act against an employee. Even so, understanding what constitutes violence and certain situations in which it may occur, an employer can help prevent it from happening within the company.
Employees deserve a safe place to work. Employers are obligated under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to make that happen. The law outlines the minimum requirements for addressing workplace harassment and violence. In particular, as of 2018, employers were required to provide a "psychologically safe" environment to workers.
Alberta businesses who have employees must prepare to deal with personalities that do not get along. Claims of discrimination, bullying and harassment could crop up at any time and business owners need to make sure that they have appropriate policies and procedures to deal with them. It is not enough to have protocols for discrimination or harassment investigations, but also to handle retaliation against complainants or witnesses by those that are accused of harassment or others that are sympathetic to the accused.
Employers have an obligation to provide a work environment that is free of bullying, harassment, discrimination and other inappropriate workplace behavior. To protect your company, you need to make sure that your workplace investigations are timely, fair and impartial.
After recent events that led to the #metoo movement, employers may be feeling unsure of how to proceed when it comes to holiday parties. Because only a small percentage of employees are responsible for the inappropriate and predatory behaviour, some Alberta business owners and managers feel it would be unfair to eliminate holiday parties altogether. Instead, they are taking a close look at their harassment policies.
In Alberta, public sector employees and political staff are afforded certain protections when it comes to disclosing unlawful matters or issues that may be harmful to the public interest. In the interest of promoting a culture where openness, honesty, and accountability are prioritized, the legislation helps ensure confidentiality, a transparent process, and a strict set of penalties if reprisals are committed.