Manitoba Workers Win Protections Against Psychological Harassment And Bullying

On October 21, Manitoba Minister of Labour Jennifer Howard announced new Workplace Safety and Health regulations to protect workers against psychological harassment and bullying. This move follows a campaign on the issue by the Manitoba Federation of Labour and affiliates. Recent studies have found that about 40 per cent of workers have been subject to harassment or bullying.

The new rules give Manitoba workers the right to work free from personal harassment, and make employers responsible for preventing and addressing harassment in the workplace. Employers will be also obligated to post a harassment policy and to ensure workers have the information they need to file a complaint about harassment. Workers will retain the right to pursue harassment complaints at the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.

Examples of personal harassment addressed by the regulation include humiliation, threats and intimidation, personal ridicule, yelling and abusive language, malicious gossip, intrusion of personal property and sexual harassment.

The new rules will come into force on February 1, 2011. The Province will be offering educational workshops on the new protections in March 2011. The MFL Health and Safety Committee is planning to offer a workshop on psychological harassment at the 2011 MFL Health and Safety Conference.

For more detailed information including a downloadable brochure on these new regulations, please visit the Safe Work Manitoba website.

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