Workplace sexual harassment: 4 pitfalls to avoid

Employers are still struggling to address and manage sexual harassment complaints; these common pitfalls should be considered when drafting policies
By Laura Williams
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 11/07/2018

Canada’s #MeToo movement arguably started four years ago with the Jian Ghomeshi harassment scandal. Despite the fact it’s been a few years now, some employers are still having trouble negotiating the new landscape. Proactive and clear policies can help mitigate the risk and avoid the 4 commons pitfalls employers often encounter.

It’s been nearly four years since allegations of sexual assault, harassment and bullying against former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi rocked the Canadian legal landscape.

Ghomeshi’s ensuing trial on assault charges and the firestorm of media coverage that followed helped lay the foundation in this country for #Metoo — a game-changing movement that inspired countless individuals to come forward with stories of workplace sexual assault and harassment, all of which coincided with sweeping changes to labour and employment legislation and policies designed to crack down on the kind of harassing behaviour that was once commonplace across workplaces. The Ghomeshi incident was just one in a long list of allegations of sexual harassment — and in some cases, worse — levelled against powerful media, political and business luminaries in Canada and around the world.