Tips and Tricks

Workplace Anti-Bullying Legislation

January 07, 2014

Have you experienced or witnessed bullying and harassment in the workplace at SFU? There's a recent announcement from the university about the new anti-bullying legislation.

From Chief Safety Officer, Dr. Terry Waterhouse:
Recently, new legislation came into effect which governs bullying and harassment in the workplace. The University is committed to ensuring a safe and healthy workplace and while we have a number of initiatives already in place to support our commitment, we have struck a Working Group and are developing a variety of measures to ensure that SFU is in full compliance with the requirements of the legislation. You will hear more about that very soon but I wanted to provide an update of the requirements of the legislation and how employees and supervisors should respond to reports of bullyingand harassment.

What has Changed?
Under Bill 14, the Workers Compensation Act has been amended to introduce new policies on bullying and harassment in the workplace.  These policies set out requirements for employers to provide a bullying and harassment free workplace, and to prevent and address workplace bullying and harassment through policy and training. Currently the University addresses harassment through GP 18 and have long provided training in support of that policy.  We will develop additional procedures and training as required.

How is Bullying and Harassment Defined?
Bullying and harassment includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that worker to be humiliated or intimidated, but excludes any reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers.

What are the Requirements under the Legislation?
The legislation requires employers to:

  • provide a work environment that is free from the effects of bullying and harassment;
  • develop policy statements for the workplace;
  • take steps to prevent or minimize bullying and harassment;
  • develop and implement procedures to report and investigate incidents and complaints;
  • inform and train workers and supervisors; and,
  • annually review the policy statements and procedures for reporting and dealing with incidents and complaints.

The legislation requires supervisors to:

  • not engage in bullying and harassment; and,
  • apply and comply with SFU’s policies and procedures on bullying and harassment.

The legislation requires employees to:

  • not engage in bullying and harassment;  
  • report bullying and harassment observed or experienced in the workplace; and,
  • apply and comply with SFU’s policies and procedures on bullying and harassment.

How do Employees Report Bullying or Harassment?
The Working Group is currently developing a formalized reporting system. In the interim, employees who experience or observe bullying or harassment should:

If the employee's direct Supervisor is the person engaging in alleged bullying or harassment, contact your Human Resources Advisor.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact:

  • Melinda Skura (EHS Advisor, Environmental Health & Research Safety, Safety & Risk Services) at 778-782-7264.
  • Brenda Taylor (Director, Human Rights and Equity Office) at 778-782-4446.
  • Laura MacDonald (Director, Program & Policy Development, Safety & Risk Services) at 778-782-5450.

How do I Find More Information about the New Legislation?

Addendum for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows:
You may also contact your departmental graduate program chair, or any of the following support resources:

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