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The Harassment-Free Workplace Policy

On June 1, 2018, government’s updated Harassment-Free Workplace Policy comes into effect. This policy increases accountability for those in authority and establishes an effective process for informal complaint resolution and formal investigations. The Policy also includes an updated definition of sexual harassment, which includes gender-based harassment.

What Is Harassment?

Harassment is any objectionable or offensive behavior that is known, or should reasonably be known, to be unwelcome. Harassment may be intended or unintended.

Harassment will normally involve a series of incidents; however, a single incident may be harassment if it would be considered severe or extreme to a reasonable person.

Some possible examples of harassment include:

  • Verbal abuse, yelling, or threats;
  • Degrading or offensive remarks;
  • Spreading malicious gossip or rumours;
  • Inappropriate communication through email, social media, or texts;
  • Actual or threatened physical contact of an unwelcomed nature; or
  • Bullying or intimidation.

Abuse of authority, discriminatory harassment, and sexual harassment are also all forms of harassment.

For more information, please see the Harassment-Free Workplace Policy or complete the Fostering a Harassment-Free Workplace e-module on PS Access.

I think I’m being harassed, what can I do?

If you feel you are being harassed in the workplace, you have a number of avenues available to you to handle the situation. You can:

  • Talk to the offender and tell them that their behaviour makes you uncomfortable and you want it to stop;
  • Talk to your manager about the situation and ask them to intervene;
  • Contact the Harassment-Free Workplace Manager to discuss your concerns and the options available to you; or
  • Contact the Employee Assistance and Respectful Workplace Program for support and coaching.

How do I file a harassment complaint?

To submit a harassment complaint, you can complete the online complaint form or contact the Harassment-Free Workplace Manager. All complaints must be submitted in writing; anonymous complaints will not be accepted.

I witnessed harassment in my workplace, what do I do?

Individuals who witness behaviour that may be considered harassment have a responsibility to take appropriate action and report the behaviour to someone in authority.

If you see disrespectful behaviour occurring, you may want to:

  • Interrupt the situation - “Please stop it.” “Wait a moment.”
  • Say how you feel - “I don’t like what you’re saying/doing.” “That feels disrespectful to me.”
  • Support the target - “Are you okay?” “You are not alone. How can I help?”

You should also talk to your manager about the incident or contact the Harassment-Free Workplace Manager to submit a bystander complaint.

Harassment in the workplace cannot be tolerated. Everyone in the public service has the right to be safe and valued at work.

Support and Resources

Website: http://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/hrs/

Harassment-Free Workplace Policy - http://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/hrs/working_with_us/harassment_free_workplace.html

Harassment-Free Workplace Manager: 1.888.729.7690 (Toll Free) or 729.2497 (Local)

Employee Assistance and Respectful Workplace Division: 1.888.729.2290 (Toll Free) or 729.2290 (Local)

Highlights of the Harassment Free Workplace Policy - (260 KB)

Brochures for your workspace - (713 KB)

Posters for your workspace - (607 KB)

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