Posts in Respect in the Workplace

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

Strategic alliance formed to support ‘Keeping Respect Alive’ in Canadian workplaces, WFI, workplace fairness institute, alberta, sheldon kennedy, respect, Workplace abuse, healthy workplaces, psychologically safe workplaces, workplace abuse, abuse prevention, harassment prevention training

Strategic alliance formed to support ‘Keeping Respect Alive’ in Canadian workplaces

May 14th, 2019 Press Releases, Respect in the Workplace


We are excited to announce a partnership between Respect Group and The Workplace Fairness Institute. Respect Group, a forward-thinking organization founded by former NHLer turned victims’ rights crusader Sheldon Kennedy delivers web-based training to organizations to equip employees with the education and skills needed to address bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) in the workplace. Workplace Fairness provides services to Respect Group certified organizations to support them with the next steps of “Keeping Respect Alive”.

“We believe in Keeping Respect Alive and we know that our Respect in the Workplace on-line training is the first step in starting the conversation.  We have partnered with the Workplace Fairness Institute because keeping that workplace conversation going is greatly enhanced through the support of a third party.” says Sheldon Kennedy, Co-Founder of Respect Group. “We see this as an optimal collaboration to further support organizations.”

Respect Group’s highly interactive, foundational training establishes a baseline of knowledge for employees with regards to bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) and is having a significant impact in workplaces across the country.  Working from this baseline the Workplace Fairness Institute brings their suite of facilitation, coaching and mediation services to imbed respectful behaviours by building capacity to manage conflict, increase collaboration and effectively implement change.

“We support organizations to foster a healthy culture based on a core value of equity of concern and respect,” says Blaine Donais, President and Founder of the Workplace Fairness Institute. “We are thrilled to be supporting Sheldon and Respect Group to provide people and organizations with fair, effective and sustainable solutions for resolving and managing workplace conflicts. We hold the common belief that psychological health and safety is important for every employee. ”

By joining forces, Workplace Fairness and Respect Group can support organizations to identify BAHD behaviours, address issues underlying these behaviours and empower employees to speak out to ensure a psychologically safe workplace.

About Workplace Fairness

The Workplace Fairness Institute ( and their partner, Workplace Fairness West ( focus on supporting organizations to create safe workplaces.  Working with their over 150 certified Fairness Analysts across Canada they support organizations to enhance and build strong conflict management systems that involve and engage employees.  Their conflict resolution professionals have solid expertise in areas of facilitation, coaching, mediation and providing Ombuds services.

About Respect Group Inc.

Respect Group ( was incorporated in 2004 by co-founders, Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, to pursue their common passion: the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD). Respect Group is made up of a team of over 30 talented individuals whose passion is to create a global culture of Respect. As Canada’s leading on-line provider of prevention education related to BAHD, Respect Group has certified over 1.2 Million Canadians involved in sport, schools and the workplace. Respect Group is a Certified B Corporation (

Ontario PCs criticized for appointing all-male panel to review OPP culture

May 1st, 2019 Respect in the Workplace


The Ontario government has appointed an all-male panel to probe workplace culture at the provincial police force, raising questions about whether the review will adequately address gender discrimination and harassment issues facing female employees.

Solicitor-General Sylvia Jones on Monday announced that Ontario will spend up to $500,000 for an independent review panel to examine culture at the Ontario Provincial Police following recent suicides, as well as complaints by current and former OPP staff.

The three-member panel will consist of former Superior Court associate chief justice Douglas Cunningham, former deputy attorney-general Murray Segal and former NDP cabinet minister David Cooke.

In an interview, Ms. Jones said the government chose its three panelists based on experience in government and the judiciary.

“We wanted that expertise and unfortunately in this particular panel … we couldn’t put in a female at this time,” she said.

“The Premier has appointed the solicitor-general and the attorney-general as females, so I don’t think it’s a case of being excluded. We first and foremost wanted individuals who had experience and background in this type of work, which is why we’ve asked these three individuals to serve.”

Ms. Jones said the panel’s agenda will be driven by the feedback it hears from OPP members, civilian workers, retired officers and the general public, and that much of the work will be completed online.

“We have to be fiscally responsible. And frankly, a lot of these stories, I’m not sure that people would want to share in a very public forum,” she said.

Ms. Jones has said the OPP is facing a mental-health crisis, with 13 officers having taken their own lives since 2012. She called the statistics “deeply concerning.”

Ms. Jones said the panel’s review will be “comprehensive,” with an interim report by midsummer and a final report expected by fall. They will be paid a standard per diem of $1,200 for days they work.

The OPP’s Civilian Association of Managers and Specialists (CAMS), which currently has a complaint before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging systemic gender discrimination by the service, expressed disappointment with the “ironic” lack of female representation on the panel.

“If the issues of systemic gender discrimination are left out of the review, unfortunately, the panel will become another example of the lack of insight by the OPP about our work and the conditions of our work where women are viewed as second class,” OPP human-resources manager Lee-Anne McFarlane said in an e-mail statement on behalf of CAMS.

Debra Langan, an associate professor of criminology at Wilfrid Laurier University, said academic research has highlighted the need for cultural changes in policing.

“I find it shocking that the committee is to be made up of all men. I wonder how that kind of decision was made,” Prof. Langan said.

Both the NDP and Liberals said the Progressive Conservative government missed an opportunity to represent women. “Their voices and their perspectives should be part of that panel,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said.

Linda Duxbury, a professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, has worked with numerous police services across Canada through her research. She said her main concern isn’t that the panel does not include any women – it’s that it doesn’t include any police officers.

“I would have expected to have people who knew something about policing, and/or about mental health, and/or about organizational culture. They picked people who – it seems like they’re political appointments,” she said. “If I was to be extremely cynical – which, believe me, many police officers are – this is again the Ford government showing the OPP who’s boss.”

The creation of the panel comes after the government announced new mental-health supports for provincial police officers last month. The province will fully fund that program, with the police union delivering it. MORE

63% report experiencing sexual harassment on campus, Ontario survey shows

63% report experiencing sexual harassment on campus, Ontario survey shows

April 16th, 2019 Respect in School, Respect in the Workplace

SOURCE: The Canadian Press · 


The Ontario government says 63 per cent of university students who took a province-wide survey on campus sexual violence reported they have experienced some type of sexual harassment.

Nearly 50 per cent of college students surveyed reported the same.

Merrilee Fullerton, the minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, called the results of the survey — completed by 116,000 university students and 42,000 college students — disturbing.

The province will also now require all colleges and universities to report annually on the measures taken to support students who have experienced sexual violence.

Schools will also be required to review their sexual violence policies and form task forces to address the issue by September.

The survey, called the Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey, was made up of over 50 questions that gauged respondents’ perceptions of consent and rape myths, their experiences with sexual violence, and how well they think their school responds to reports of sexual violence.

Tribunal upholds WCB's finding that man's job at Sask. RM led to his suicide

Tribunal upholds WCB’s finding that man’s job at Sask. RM led to his suicide

March 26th, 2019 Respect in the Workplace

The Rural Municipality of Parkdale has lost its final appeal against a Workers’ Compensation Board decision attributing the suicide of ones of its workers to his job.

Robert Duhaime of Vawn, Sask., died by suicide on Aug. 31, 2017.

In February, 2018, the WCB concluded Duhaime’s death stemmed from his employment as a grader operator at the RM of Parkdale. His widow, Brenda, said her husband was being bullied and harassed on the job.After Duhaime’s death the WCB accepted a claim, saying there was sufficient information to attribute his mental health issues and his subsequent death to his employment.


The RM denied it was at fault in the death and appealed the WCB decision. When the initial appeal was rejected, the RM took it to the next level of appeal: the WCB tribunal.

In its appeal, the RM said Duhaime had a pre-existing mental health condition and that some statements made by witnesses in the initial investigation were fabricated. It also said the WCB had “ignored” some witness statements from some of the people accused of bullying.

CBC has obtained the tribunal report that rejects the RM’s appeal and concludes again that Duhaime’s death was the result of his employment.

“There was evidence of prior mental health issues, but the specific causative factor for the suicide was the workplace issues,” reads the report. MORE

Remai Modern CEO Gregory Burke under investigation by human rights commission for alleged workplace harassment

Remai Modern CEO Gregory Burke under investigation by human rights commission for alleged workplace harassment

March 26th, 2019 Respect in the Workplace

Source: CBC News

Guy Quenneville · CBC News · 


Gregory Burke, the outgoing CEO and executive director of Saskatoon’s Remai Modern Art Museum, is under investigation by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission for alleged workplace harassment dating back to his time at the Mendel Art Gallery.

According to a document obtained by CBC News, the complaint was filed with the commission by a woman who worked with Burke at the Mendel, now known as Remai Modern.

CBC News is not identifying the woman, whose allegation has not been proven in court. Her lawyer also confirmed the complaint.

Burke did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The commission document obtained by CBC News does not detail the specifics of the allegation. The corporate entities for both Mendel Art Gallery and Remai Modern are named alongside Burke as respondents.

“My aim investigating this complaint is to determine the facts and gather relevant perspectives on the situation,” wrote commission investigator Lewanna Dubray in the document.

Dubray said she is seeking information from the complainant, Burke and “all potential witnesses.”

The commission would neither confirm nor deny the complaint or investigation.

“The commission is an unbiased organization,” the commission said in a statement to CBC News. “As a matter of general principle, and because of privacy concerns, the commission does not discuss or disclose the particulars of ongoing complaints.” MORE

Sexually harassed Canada Revenue Agency worker to get $40,000 in damages

Sexually harassed Canada Revenue Agency worker to get $40,000 in damages

March 26th, 2019 Respect in the Workplace

Source: Montreal Gazette



A Canada Revenue Agency employee has been awarded $40,000 after being a victim of sexual harassment in her workplace. And her employer has been ordered to reimburse her the $23,000 in care she received to treat the depression and anxiety she suffered as a result of the incidents.

In its ruling, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board ordered the CRA to pay the employee $20,000 for pain and suffering as well as $20,000 for having mismanaged her harassment case.

According to the worker’s union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the amounts awarded are the maximum permitted under Canadian human rights legislation.

The harassment occurred between May and October of 2010 and saw the worker receive multiple invitations for coffee or lunch from her section leader. He also offered her rides home, sent her texts at night and on weekends, had chocolates delivered to her at her office address, offered to help her around the house and sent her CDs of love songs including “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.”

The worker filed a grievance and an independent investigation ordered by the CRA established 13 incidents of sexual harassment. MORE

Breaking point: assaulted, threatened and abused in Ontario's long-term care homes

Breaking point: assaulted, threatened and abused in Ontario’s long-term care homes

March 26th, 2019 Respect in the Workplace

Source: CBC Canada

Ontario’s long-term care facilities can be dangerous places to work, according to a new study, with workers reporting physical and emotional abuse and sexual harassment.

“Breaking Point: Violence Against Long-Term Care Staff” builds on previous studies which have shown that 90 per cent of Canadian caregivers had experienced physical violence from residents in long-term care homes. The new study focuses on the personal experiences of those workers.

James Brophy, and co-authors Margaret Keith and Michael Hurley, conducted the study for the University of Stirling in Scotland. Both Brophy and Keith are adjunct professors with the University of Windsor. Hurley is with the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions and Canadian Union of Public Employees which funded the study.

The study consults 56 long-term care staff in seven Ontario communities.

“We ran some 13-odd focus groups with workers that reflected the demographics of the communities we were in,” said Brophy. “The majority of participants were either nurses or personal support workers.”

Brophy will not identify which communities were studied, for confidentiality purposes.

Vicious assaults

In small interview groups, workers shared at-work experiences of violence, including visually identifying on a “body map” where they had been injured.

“We’ve heard horrible stories of vicious assaults,” said Brophy. “It’s very common to have tables and chairs thrown at you. It’s common to be grabbed, sexually groped.” MORE

globe and mail, abuse, workplace bullying, bullying, harassment, job bullying

More than half of us have been bullied at work. Ignoring it won’t work for much longer

February 22nd, 2019 Respect in the Workplace

SOURCE: The Globe and Mail

When Craig Boyer launched a lawsuit against his former employer, Callidus Capital Corp., he claimed he was the victim of a “poisoned workplace.” Boyer, formerly chief underwriter at Callidus, alleged that the company’s management style included “berating and belittling employees by email and verbally,” and “on occasion, physical abuse.”

Callidus, which denies the allegations, countersued Boyer for $150 million, alleging that his claims of abuse were designed to distract from his own misconduct, including as a boss. “Indeed, Boyer himself developed a reputation for being very difficult on those employees who reported to him,” reads its counterclaim.

None of the allegations have been proven, and the case is still before the court. But the nasty legal battle underscores how damaging allegations of workplace bullying can be to both companies and employees. And the problem may be more widespread than you think.

A shocking 55% of surveyed Canadians reported experiencing bullying in the workplace, including name-calling, physical aggression and online taunts, according to a 2018 poll by Forum Research. Worse still, the study found that only onethird of companies took action to stop the perpetrators.

That can be a costly mistake, considering that bullied employees take twice as many sick days as their peers, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. All told, Statistics Canada estimates the cost of employee absence due to bullying and harassment is roughly $19 billion per year. In addition to absenteeism, companies with toxic workplace cultures suffer from lost productivity, eroded profits and employee turnover as top talent flees, the commission says.

“These issues need to be the priority from onboarding to the CEO,” says Sheldon Kennedy, a former hockey player, abuse survivor and co-founder of the Respect Group, which is partnering with KPMG Canada to train companies to prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination in the workplace. He says creating a culture of respect starts with the tone from the top. “This will require a willingness from leadership to face the hard truths about what is happening inside their walls,” says Soula Courlas, a partner at KPMG. “Bullying can be subtle. Education is key to helping people recognize it.”

It’s not easy to investigate complaints. A demanding boss isn’t necessarily a bully, and it’s possible that some people could lie to discredit others. Best practices include a formal complaints process, a no-reprisals policy, confidential whistleblower lines and due diligence on new hires.

Both managers and their teams should be trained on how to respond if they experience or witness bullying. Knowing what to say in the moment, through a prepared script, is key to changing workplace culture, experts say. MORE

gender, gender diversity, lgbt, lgbtqq, lgbtq, inclusion in the workplace Canada, workplace inclusion, inclusive workplaces, Canada inclusion, research diversity, diverse workplace practices, Harvard business review

Research: When Gender Diversity Makes Firms More Productive

February 19th, 2019 Respect in the Workplace

SOURCE: Harvard Business Review

FEBRUARY 11, 2019

The business world has long debated the effect of gender diversity on business outcomes. Does diversity make a company more productive?

Many say yes. Some researchers argue that gender diversity leads to more innovative thinking and signals to investors that a company is competently run.

Others say no. Conflicting research indicates that gender diversity can sometimes harm firm performance.

But most research has looked at this question within a single country or industry. As a result, their findings are likely limited to that country or industry. This got us thinking: Could the conflicting research be due to differences in context? Region and industry might affect people’s opinions of gender diversity, and this might then affect whether or not diversity leads to stronger outcomes.

In research one of us (Professor Zhang) conducted, this is exactly what was found. In a study of 1,069 leading firms across 35 countries and 24 industries, we found that gender diversity relates to more productive companies, as measured by market value and revenue, only in contexts where gender diversity is viewed as “normatively” accepted. By normative acceptance, we mean a widespread cultural belief that gender diversity is important.

In other words, beliefs about gender diversity create a self-fulfilling cycle. Countries and industries that view gender diversity as important capture benefits from it. Those that don’t, don’t.

For example, we found that the percentage of women in telecommunication companies in Western Europe, historically a relatively gender-inclusive context, was significantly tied to a company’s market value. Specifically, a 10% increase in Blau’s gender diversity index (see more in our sidebar) related to a roughly 7% increase in market value. However, in the energy sector in the Middle East, which has historically not been gender-inclusive, firms’ gender diversity was unrelated to company performance. MORE


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