Navigating Workplace Harassment Issues

Employees have the right to be free of harassment at the workplace and employers have an obligation to ensure a safe working environment. In serious cases, bullying and harassment in the workplace can lead to constructive dismissal claims, human rights complaints and worker compensation claims. Both employers and employees can benefit from early and proactive legal advice when bullying and harassment occurs, or is alleged to have occurred at work.

Our lawyers at Overholt Law are dedicated professionals that help navigate clients through harassment investigations, complaints and claims. We are experienced and trustworthy counsel that use a balanced approach to resolve disputes.

Determining Rights When Constructively Dismissed

Constructive dismissal occurs when the employer has committed a fundamental breach of the employment contract. If an employee is bullied, called names or threatened and subsequently terminated, this conduct may form part of a claim for constructive dismissal against the employer.

We help both employees and employers involved in constructive dismissal actions. We will analyze the facts and create a strategic plan to resolve the dispute. We also proactively advise employers how to prevent such claims from reoccurring.

Human Rights Complaints

Human rights law forbids discrimination in the workplace. Prohibited grounds of discrimination in employment include:

  • Race, colour, religion, place of origin, ancestry
  • Family and marital status
  • Political belief
  • Age
  • Mental or physical disability
  • Sex and sexual orientation
  • Gender identity or gender expression
  • Unrelated conviction

Employers have a duty to safeguard employees from discrimination. Neglecting to do so can result in costly claims. We advise both employers and employees about their rights and obligations and aim to resolve issues proactively. If a claim goes before the human rights tribunal, we will vigorously represent you.

Workers' Compensation Claims For Harassment And Bullying

Employees who have been bullied or harassed at work have the right to file a complaint with WorkSafeBC. Employers who fail to investigate a complaint may face punishment from the board. Employers accused of wrongdoing should seek guidance to avoid litigation.

Our lawyers collaborate with employers to investigate the situation and prevent it from deteriorating. We will give employers straightforward advice about the situation and advise on next steps to settle the matter.

We also act on behalf of employees who are making a claim. We will aid them in drafting the complaint and represent their interests at the board.

Schedule An Appointment Today

If you are an employer facing harassment charges or an employee bullied at work we will review your case and advise you. Reach us through our online contact form or call our Vancouver office at 778-653-7561 or 877-296-1161.

Publications

"Does your law firm have a bullying and harassment policy?", BCLMA Topics Newsletter, Spring 2014 edition

Notable Experience

Overholt Law represented an employer in a long arbitration matter where the decision to dismiss a bargaining unit employee for harassment and bullying of a co-worker was upheld — Madill Equipment Canada v. United Steelworkers Union, Local 1-80, CLC (Brown Dismissal Grievance), [2008] BCA.A.A. No. 86.

We successfully represented an employee in front of the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal regarding a claim for compensation for a mental disorder due to bullying and harassment in the workplace.