Acknowledging the problem of sexual harassment

Many organizations may think things aren’t so bad but may be caught off-guard when it happens in their workplace
By Laura Williams
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 05/09/2018

Right now, somewhere in Canada, there is a very strong chance that an individual is being sexually assaulted or harassed in the workplace. But as two new studies show, many business owners, managers, and HR professionals are oblivious to the misconduct occurring in their midst.

Is your organization prepared to properly deal with sexual harassment? Many think they are, or think it’s not a problem in their workplace, but they may be wrong.

A study released in early April by the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) found that among the association’s members who responded to the survey, 17 per cent reported witnessing sexual assault or harassment in the workplace, while 19 per cent said they’ve seen an increase in harassment-related complaints since the #MeToo movement gained momentum last year. The report also found that 70 per cent of respondents felt their organization is receptive to anti-sexual harassment recommendations, but 24 per cent said those recommendations “are not always implemented.”