The policies that are in place vary from business to business — there is no consistency. What may be deemed harassment at one company is not covered at another. Most alarmingly, it’s not mandatory to have a workplace harassment policy at all. As such, complainants of workplace harassment seek assistance from their human resource departments, and in some cases, the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Unfortunately, having only these two options to find a remedy for workplace harassment complaints does not ensure all Albertans protection or solutions. Some may find their complaints slipping through the cracks. If your employer doesn’t have a harassment policy, the HR department is not sympathetic or trained in these matters, or your harassment doesn’t fall within the areas recognized in the Human Rights Act, then you have little recourse. This bill mandates that all employers have a harassment policy in place, and it allows for complaints to be filed with an occupational health and safety officer if a complaint cannot first be resolved through an internal investigation. If there is no resolution, then a complaint would be filed with occupational health and safety and a second investigation started.
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