How to deal with workplace sexual harassment

sexual harassment in the workplace

One in four woman in Canada have had to deal with sexual assault. The rates have come down over the last decade or so with way more coverage being placed on the issue many women face. However, it still happens, and sometimes, it can be confusing in regards to what to do or what steps to take to deal with the situation. Here are some tips you can follow which can help you make the right decision.

You’re Protected And You Have Rights

The Canadian Labour Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act protect you from sexual harrasment at work. You’ll also be protected by the Canada Criminal Code from sexual assault or/and physical assault. If anything like this happens, you’ve got a legal footing. At the same time, depending on where you work, your workplace probably has a code of conduct or policy regarding sexual harrasment which you can use or follow if something untoward has happened or you feel like someone is behaving inappropriately in the workplace. 

Speak To Your Boss

Speak to your boss about what’s happened right away. If your boss is the perpetrator, then speak to their boss. Don’t worry about what they might think, the sooner you get it in the open the faster something will be done about it. If you work in a smaller office or location, like a family run business, and don’t have extra people to talk to, it might be time to go straight to one of the options below. The chat with your boss might not be pleasant, depending on what kind of person they are. A good boss will take your claims seriously and start an investigation.

Contact A Lawyer

Try to contact a lawyer near your location. They’ll know the system better and be able to provide better advice. If you feel like you’re owed compensation or want to take the perpetrator to court, this is the step to take. To find a local lawyer just search for a lawyer online but put your locale in the search term. For example, if you live in Mississauga you’d search for criminal lawyer Mississauga or if you live in Brampton you’d search for criminal lawyer Brampton…you get the gist. At the same time you might be recommended a lawyer, or know of one through word of mouth or even have seen the office on the highstreet. 

Contact The Police

You might do this before or after contacting a lawyer. It depends what type of crime was committed against you and how serious it was. Contacting the police is really easy and the non-emergency number is: 416-808-2222. You might want to go straight to the police station and speak to them too if you think the law has been broken against you. They’ll ask for a statement too so make sure you give as accurate a response as possible.

Sue The Workplace And Get A New Job

Getting a new job is a pretty hefty undertaking, but at the moment the market is pretty buoyant. Your workplace, if responsible, needs to be held to account and you can do that by suing them. Your lawyer can help you here. If you’re struggling with finding a job, there are some pretty good books to help you. Most can be found on Amazon, just make sure they’re not on the list of gated or restricted brands and you’ll know you’ve found something worth reading. Finding a new job will be good for your wellbeing and mental health. At the same time, you might love your current job and not want to leave, or be forced out. In this case, if the issue is resolved to your satisfaction, you might want to remain. Everyone is different and finding what’s best for you is the most important thing to consider.