From Laissez-Faire to Fair Play: Workplace Violence & Psychological Harassment
Gouveia, Carla Goncalves, University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review
I INTRODUCTION II THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS Background: The Problem & Prevalence of Workplace Violence Reasons and Rationales for a Comprehensive Legislative Response Conceptualizing Psychological Harassment Theoretical Paradigms: The Basis for Harassment Law Anti-Discrimination Paradigm: Individual Characteristics & Enumerated Grounds Dignity Paradigm: Universal Concepts of Dignity Rubric for Legislative Framework & Analysis III PSYCHOLOGICAL HARASSMENT & THE LAW Prevention & Protection: Occupational Health & Safety Laws Protection Against Physical Violence: Alberta & British Columbia Protection Against Harassment on Enumerated Grounds: Saskatchewan Full Protection Against Psychological Harassment: The Quebec Labour Code Legislative Proposals: The Federal Bill & Ontario's Proposed Amendment to the OHSA Other Areas of Law: Remedies and Recourse IV LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS & POLICY CONSIDERATIONS: PSYCHOLOGICAL HARASSMENT--A NEW RIGHT FOR PEACE OF MIND Theoretical Paradigms & Regulatory Mechanisms: A Combined Approach The Legislative Framework, Policy Goals & Process V Conclusion
Violence at work is composed of a multi-faceted and complex set of interactions. Bullying, or psychological harassment, is a pervasive form of violence that threatens the integrity and health of the individual and the workplace structure. Psychological harassment is an emerging concern for both employees and employers'. Bullying creates' a toxic work environment. The workplace becomes an arena of emotional brutality, characterized by injuries of depleted self-esteem, low morale and apathy. Instances of psychological harassment at work also impose direct costs on both employers and public services. Given the negative ramifications of psychological harassment, the law should strive to empower employers' to prevent and respond to bullying and provide relief to employees.
This article explores the phenomenon of workplace bullying, examines' current legislative provisions that attempt to address this issue and considers the potential legal responses to this pervasive problem. It investigates the legal realm of psychological harassment in three parts'. First, it introduces the social problem of psychological harassment, outlines conceptual notions of bullying and reviews theoretical paradigms. Specifically, two theoretical paradigms of harassment are reviewed to situate the issue of workplace bullying in a broader academic and legal context. Second, several Canadian provincial statutes are examined to gain insight into the existing provisions that address workplace violence and harassment. Third, this article explores legislative recommendations and policy considerations. Ultimately, this article argues that a statutory regime should be implemented to protect employees from psychological harassment. It concludes that a comprehensive legal response will act as the main force in preventing workplace bullying, protecting workers and serving the interests of employers.
La violence au travail se compose d'ensemble d'interaetions a facette multiple et complexe. L 'intimidation, ou le harcelement psychologique, est une forme largement repandue de violence qui menace l'integrite et la santo de l'individu et la structure du lieu de travail. L'harcelement psychologique est un souci emergent pour les employes et les employeurs. L 'intimidation cree un environnement de travail toxique. Le lieu de travail devient une arene de brutalite emotive, caracterisee par des dommages d'amour-propre, de bas moral et d'apathie. Les exemples du harcelement psychologique au travail imposent egalement des" couts directs aux employeurs et aux services publics. Etant donne les ramifications negatives du harcelement psychologique, la loi devrait tacher d'autoriser les employeurs de prevenir et de repondre a l'intimidation en fournissant de l'aide aux employes. …