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Former Halifax transit worker receives record $593K award in harassment case, respect, training, workplace harassment prevention, prevention training, abuse training

Former Halifax transit worker receives record $593K award in harassment case

May 16th, 2019 Respect in the Workplace, Uncategorised

Source: Elizabeth Chiu · CBC News · 

A Nova Scotia human rights board of inquiry has handed down an award of nearly $600,000 to a former Metro Transit bus garage worker after finding he was the victim of racial harassment and discrimination by management and co-workers.

It’s the largest amount ever awarded by the commission.

The inquiry heard that Y.Z., a mechanic, was targeted with verbal racial slurs, graffiti in the washroom, vandalism of tools and assault between 2002 and 2007. A bus was used to terrorize him by brushing past him.

Y.Z., who is white, is married to a black woman. He told the inquiry his marriage made him the focus of racial taunting.

A psychologist told the inquiry that Y.Z. has been diagnosed as having somatic symptom disorder, major depressive disorder and PTSD.

‘Bad place physically and psychologically’

The psychologist, Myles Genest, said there are “no grounds to suggest [Y.Z.] would be experiencing his current disabling conditions were it not for his experience of negative work environment and threat to his safety in the workplace.”

[Y.Z.’s] in “such a bad place physically and psychologically that it almost has a life of its own now,” the psychologist told the inquiry.

In 2007, the former Metro Transit worker attempted suicide and since then has been “largely housebound” due to his fear of encountering employees from the bus garage. MORE

workplace bullying prevention canada, online prevention, workplace harassment prevention, harassment work, sexual harassment canada, prevention training workplace, e-learning

Addressing workplace bullying, harassment must be a business priority: Panel

January 31st, 2019 Uncategorised

Source: | WWW.COS-MAG.COM

 

Organizations that don’t seriously address bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination in their workplaces will struggle to attract and retain good employees and suffer from poor productivity, according to a recent panel discussion at the National Club in Toronto.

“Organizations need to tackle this uncomfortable topic, or risk falling behind,” said Sheldon Kennedy, abuse survivor and co-founder of the Respect Group. “They need to ask the tough questions to determine if this type of behaviour is happening in their organization. They need to be prepared for what they might find and be committed to taking action to address and end it.”

The panel, which included Louise Bradley, president and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada, Pamela Jeffery, president, The Pamela Jeffery Group and Soula Courlas, partner, KPMG, noted that ignoring the issue not only affects employee retention but it hurts productivity and profitability. Experiencing bullying and harassment in the workplace can trigger mental health problems and illnesses, which, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, are the leading cause of short‐ and long‐term disability. The economic burden has been estimated at $51‐billion per year, almost $20‐billion of which comes from workplace losses.

While pointing out the risks of not addressing the issue, the panellists noted that many organizations are taking real action to address the issue.

“This isn’t just about focusing on the bad individuals,” said Kennedy. “Ninety-eight per cent of individuals want to be good, so focus on them and give them the tools to be better.”

For those companies who don’t know where to start, the panellists said the most important step was instituting a culture of respect and zero tolerance for toxic behaviour in their organizations — a tone that needs to come straight from the CEO.

“This will require a willingness from leadership to face the hard truths about what is happening inside their walls,” said Courlas. “Bullying can be subtle. Education is key to helping people recognize it. Leadership has a duty to proactively work towards eradicating this type of behaviour, which will inevitably help unlock the best of their people.”

#MeToo movement encouraging for young Canadian females, survey suggests

October 29th, 2018 Respect in the Workplace, Uncategorised

A majority of Canadian girls and young women have found the #MeToo movement heartening when it comes to the prospects of increased gender equality, but feel they still face discrimination, a new survey suggests.

The online poll of just over 1,000 females aged 14 to 24 also finds about one-third of respondents said they feel less equal than their male counterparts and have less opportunities to lead.

Plan International Canada, part of a group focused on advancing girls’ rights and equality around the world, commissioned the Nanos survey in part to gauge the state of gender equality.

The survey also looked at the effect of the #MeToo movement, which was sparked by the downfall last year of Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul whose alleged abuse of women over decades led to an international debate and backlash over pervasive sexual harassment.

According the poll, 28 per cent of Canadian girls and young woman said #MeToo had made them hopeful about gender equality in the future and another 40 per cent were somewhat hopeful. Only 11 per cent said they were left somewhat or totally pessimistic.

Asked what #MeToo means to them, respondents cited support for victims of sexual harassment and awareness to end such bullying.

More troubling was the indication from the survey that two in three of those asked said they had a friend who had been sexually harassed and that fewer than two in 10 said they felt completely safe in public spaces. Still, most said they do feel safe or somewhat safe when out it in public.

When it comes to gender-based discrimination, seven in 10 females said they had bumped up against the issue even though more than half said they believed they had the same opportunities to lead.

In other findings:

  • More than 60 per cent feel an affinity with the feminist movement, while 25 per cent do not feel that way.
  • Most say they are more or less optimistic about the future of gender equality at home and abroad.
  • Girls 18 to 24 reported lower levels of perceived gender equality and higher levels of discrimination than their younger counterparts.
  • About one-third reported feeling occasionally discriminated against because of their gender; the same percentage said they rarely felt that way.
  • About one in five said they never felt they were discriminated against.

The poll also indicates that about 37 per cent of Canadian women feel pressure to have a successful career, while just eight per cent report pressure to get married or have kids. About 30 per cent report pressure to do it all: have a successful career as well as get married and have children.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

Disability often excluded from the drive for diversity

October 29th, 2018 Respect in the Workplace, Uncategorised

President & CEO, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Today, the business case for inclusion and diversity is more accepted than ever. Race, gender, sexual identity and mental health have all advanced as meaningful social issues and a focus of public attention. Although there is still much more progress to be achieved, this awareness demonstrates society’s collective understanding of difference. Yet, people with disabilities, particularly youth, have not yet been a visible part of this conversation and have incredible skills to offer our workplaces and economy.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2011 (when data was last updated) the employment rate of working-age Canadians with disabilities was 49 per cent, compared with 79 per cent for Canadians without a disability. The vast majority of those people’s disabilities do not prevent them from working and almost half of these potential workers are post-secondary graduates. To make matters worse – despite legislative efforts to prevent this – 33 per cent of people with disabilities in the labour market say they have been denied a job because of their disability. This is unacceptable.

And because they are disproportionately unemployed or underemployed, people with disabilities can be unfairly perceived as a drain on society. That lens needs to shift – to understanding that people with disabilities contribute their own strengths and uniqueness to Canada’s diversity. Working at a rehabilitation hospital for kids and youth, I see the strengths of young people with disabilities first-hand every day. The expertise, talent, passion and resiliency they show is unparalleled. Yet, because of their disabilities they routinely face the consequences of stigma – staring, whispers, name-calling, social exclusion, bullying and outright discrimination – and many of us take little notice.

Often people without disabilities have gaps in their understanding of disability and underestimate how much those with disabilities value and enjoy their lives and how much they have to offer, including to employers. The time for change has come. In fact, the time came long ago, but together we can be part of the solution to bridging the gap.

Businesses are adept at adjusting products and services to target new markets. Our experience with employers we’ve coached to hire young people with disabilities is that the return on investment of maximizing the talent pool is undeniable. Here’s some hiring advice that has created success for both top employers and employees with disabilities they’ve successfully brought on board:

PROACTIVELY RECRUIT APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES

Recruiting can often be a roadblock because many employers don’t know where to start. The good news is every province has local employment-support organizations who will work with you to understand your organization’s human-resources needs and provide best practices for hiring and creating diverse workplaces. Plus, they can help to link you up with great talent.

EXTEND YOUR TALENT PIPELINE TO YOUNGER WORKERS

Employment during our youth helps build our skills and confidence for our future jobs and careers. Young workers with disabilities are at a disadvantage in today’s economy because they have less experience to draw on and more competition. This is a missed opportunity for businesses because young workers bring curiosity, innovation and enthusiasm to our talent pool that is hard to replicate. Consider where young workers may be a good fit for your organization and review applicants accordingly.

INVITE SELF-DISCLOSURE IN YOUR APPLICATION PROCESS

Make it clear on your job postings that you are an employer who values diversity and recruits people with disabilities. Then, review resumés carefully. Young workers with disabilities may have less paid work experience on their resumé than peers without disabilities, but these outstanding young workers with disabilities have honed their strengths and skills in other ways. These youth have likely had to overcome more obstacles, demonstrating resiliency on a regular basis. In addition, consider an experiential component in your recruitment process or paid-job trials as a starting place. Many talented individuals are better doers than talkers and may be disadvantaged in interviews.

COMBAT STIGMA THROUGH EDUCATION

Create a culture of acceptance by establishing organizational guidelines that provide accommodations to support a variety of employees and actively engage workers in diversity topics through lunch-and-learns or blogs to encourage awareness and discussion. Teach staff about disability, respectful language and offer tips and tools to help the whole team succeed. Then measure your progress by regularly surveying workers to explore their satisfaction with your policies and encourage feedback to improve the workplace for everyone.

CELEBRATE

Last but not least, celebrate the uniqueness of all your employees.

By taking even small steps toward creating a workplace culture that celebrates diversity, you demonstrate the importance of recognizing the unique contributions of all employees and set the right tone for our future work force. Just imagine, if every employer in Canada hired at least one person with a disability, more than one million people would be able to apply their talents to our businesses and economy.

workplace harassment training, harassment prevention training, Sexual harassment complaints fall on deaf ears in the workplace, research shows The Globe’s bimonthly report on research from business schools. The rise of #MeToo and Time’s Up in our collective consciousness has encouraged women by the thousands to step forward to share stories of being cat-called, groped and propositioned on the job. Together, these movements have helped to topple some of the most egregious offenders from their positions of authority and brought to light the sheer scale of sexual harassment in the everyday workplace setting. But for Ajnesh Prasad, business professor and Canada Research Chair with Royal Roads University’s business school in Victoria, they’ve also highlighted a need to dig deeper into the organizational culture that helps enable unwanted behaviours. To that end, Dr. Prasad and colleague Dulini Fernando of the University of Warwick in Britain have recently completed a timely study that looks at what they call “the subtle mechanisms by which organizations maintain the status quo.” The study, which has been accepted for publication in the academic journal Human Relations, began in 2016 and examines the role of “third-party actors” in silencing people who start to voice their discontent. These are the people who, by their actions (or lack thereof), have participated in suppressing the voices of discontented employees. They include human resource officers, managers, and professional colleagues, among others. The researchers interviewed 31 early- to mid-career female academics working at business schools in Britain about insulting, hostile and degrading attitudes, as well as any unwanted sexual attention and sexual coercion they’ve experienced in their workplace because of their gender. In each case, participants were asked to describe events as vividly as possible and whether they stayed silent about their experiences. The researchers were surprised by the answers they received. All the women reported some level of harassment, from sexist remarks and harassment during pregnancy and after giving birth to gender-based bullying and sexually motivated advances. And, contrary to what researchers anticipated, they all shared their experiences with someone at work – whether it was a manager, HR officer or more senior professional colleague. STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT In each case, the women said they were persuaded to drop the issue and move on. For instance, one woman, identified as Paula in the study, described how a female HR manager dismissed her complaint of a senior colleague’s unwanted advances as “hardly a crime.” In addition, the manager “also rather patronizingly offered to speak to the accused on Paula’s behalf to clear any possible misunderstanding and make the environment more pleasant for her in the future.” Paula was left feeling humiliated and unwilling to talk further about what happened. In another other case noted in the study, a woman known as Marsha said she was advised by well-meaning colleagues to not complain about unwanted sexual attention to avoid being known as a “troublemaker.” “To be really honest, I am scared of being that person who people are wary of dealing with – so I don’t know what to do,” Marsha said, according to the study. Women also told researchers they were repeatedly told by organizational authorities to “trust the system” to resolve their complaint. Dr. Prasad says the research reveals important lessons for victims of sex-based harassment, wherever they may work. Critically, people who have the courage to disclose incidents of sex-based harassment need to be aware of the reality that they may be silenced by various actors who are invested in protecting the interests of the organization. “Accordingly, they need to be prepared to proceed through the often-difficult process of pursuing their complaint with conviction,” he says. Second, he recommends that victims seek outside support from a union representative, industry ombudsman or relevant source who is not subject of the organization’s authority. “Such actors can offer much-needed support, including providing victims with the fullest scope of their options,” he says. Dr. Prasad and Dr. Fernando are preparing to continue the study. The next step is to interview HR officers and line managers in an effort to better understand how they deal with individuals who make complaints relating to sex-based harassment, canada bullying prevention, bill c65, respect, e-learning

Sexual harassment complaints fall on deaf ears in the workplace, research shows

October 10th, 2018 Respect in the Workplace, Uncategorised

Sexual harassment complaints fall on deaf ears in the workplace

The Globe and Mail

The Globe’s bimonthly report on research from business schools.

The rise of #MeToo and Time’s Up in our collective consciousness has encouraged women by the thousands to step forward to share stories of being cat-called, groped and propositioned on the job.

Together, these movements have helped to topple some of the most egregious offenders from their positions of authority and brought to light the sheer scale of sexual harassment in the everyday workplace setting.

But for Ajnesh Prasad, business professor and Canada Research Chair with Royal Roads University’s business school in Victoria, they’ve also highlighted a need to dig deeper into the organizational culture that helps enable unwanted behaviours.

To that end, Dr. Prasad and colleague Dulini Fernando of the University of Warwick in Britain have recently completed a timely study that looks at what they call “the subtle mechanisms by which organizations maintain the status quo.”

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the academic journal Human Relations, began in 2016 and examines the role of “third-party actors” in silencing people who start to voice their discontent. These are the people who, by their actions (or lack thereof), have participated in suppressing the voices of discontented employees. They include human resource officers, managers, and professional colleagues, among others.

The researchers interviewed 31 early- to mid-career female academics working at business schools in Britain about insulting, hostile and degrading attitudes, as well as any unwanted sexual attention and sexual coercion they’ve experienced in their workplace because of their gender.

In each case, participants were asked to describe events as vividly as possible and whether they stayed silent about their experiences.

The researchers were surprised by the answers they received.

All the women reported some level of harassment, from sexist remarks and harassment during pregnancy and after giving birth to gender-based bullying and sexually motivated advances. And, contrary to what researchers anticipated, they all shared their experiences with someone at work – whether it was a manager, HR officer or more senior professional colleague.

In each case, the women said they were persuaded to drop the issue and move on.

For instance, one woman, identified as Paula in the study, described how a female HR manager dismissed her complaint of a senior colleague’s unwanted advances as “hardly a crime.” In addition, the manager “also rather patronizingly offered to speak to the accused on Paula’s behalf to clear any possible misunderstanding and make the environment more pleasant for her in the future.” Paula was left feeling humiliated and unwilling to talk further about what happened.

In another other case noted in the study, a woman known as Marsha said she was advised by well-meaning colleagues to not complain about unwanted sexual attention to avoid being known as a “troublemaker.”

“To be really honest, I am scared of being that person who people are wary of dealing with – so I don’t know what to do,” Marsha said, according to the study.

Women also told researchers they were repeatedly told by organizational authorities to “trust the system” to resolve their complaint.

Dr. Prasad says the research reveals important lessons for victims of sex-based harassment, wherever they may work.

Critically, people who have the courage to disclose incidents of sex-based harassment need to be aware of the reality that they may be silenced by various actors who are invested in protecting the interests of the organization.

“Accordingly, they need to be prepared to proceed through the often-difficult process of pursuing their complaint with conviction,” he says.

Second, he recommends that victims seek outside support from a union representative, industry ombudsman or relevant source who is not subject of the organization’s authority.

“Such actors can offer much-needed support, including providing victims with the fullest scope of their options,” he says.

Dr. Prasad and Dr. Fernando are preparing to continue the study. The next step is to interview HR officers and line managers in an effort to better understand how they deal with individuals who make complaints relating to sex-based harassment.

Hockey parents get much-needed training: Editorial

February 28th, 2018 Parents, Respect in Sport, Uncategorised

The Star

Sept 26, 2016

Hockey parents get much-needed training: Editorial

If you’ve ever been to a junior hockey game, you’ve likely encountered an example of the Raging Puckhead, a troubling class of hockey parent. If not, type “bad hockey parent” into YouTube and behold the horror show. These moms and dads, a small minority in the seats, will obnoxiously scream their displeasure at a player’s performance, a referee’s call or, most commonly, a coach’s failure to give their child ice time, evidently forgetting that they are watching kids playing a game. MORE

Michelle Hauser: Parents need to resist the urge to push their kids too hard in sports

February 8th, 2018 Parents, Respect in Sport, Uncategorised

National Post

August 17, 2016

Michelle Hauser: Parents need to resist the urge to push their kids too hard in sports

(more…)

3 questions parents should ask about their child’s coach

November 28th, 2017 Uncategorised

Deidra Dionne · for CBC Sports · 

 

3 questions parents should ask about their child’s coach

Sport should be a safe place for athletes of all ages. The lessons learned are meant to be technical, physical and character-building, not traumatizing. But the recent sexual assault cases involving former U.S. gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar and former Canadian alpine ski coach Bertrand Charest have left many parents like me wondering: what are we doing to ensure sport is a safe place for our children? The CEO of the Coaching Association of Canada, Lorraine ​Lafrenière, has worked toward establishing a common set of rules for all sports to follow. MORE

Le coût ahurissant du harcèlement sexuel au travail

November 23rd, 2017 Uncategorised

Le coût ahurissant du harcèlement sexuel au travail

#MoiAussi, #BalanceTonPorc,… L’heure est au Grand Déballage, et c’est tant mieux. Oui, c’est tant mieux, car il est révoltant que le harcèlement sexuel ait été si longtemps toléré, en particulier au travail. C’est que ces agissements ignominieux sont inacceptables non seulement – c’est évident – d’un point de vue moral, mais aussi – et ça, c’est moins connu – d’un point de vue… économique. Explication. plus

Bill Brooks: Calgary Business Leaders are tops

July 29th, 2017 General News, Sheldon Kennedy, Uncategorised

Bill Brooks: Calgary Business Leaders are tops

 

Being an exceptional business leader is no small feat. Challenges galore test the mettle of myriad businesses whether its the carbon tax, increases in the minimum wage, or shameful federal and provincial government ‘business averse’ polices, it’s indeed tougher than ever to make a buck. MORE

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