Personal security includes being safe from sexual harassment

By Asha Tomlinson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/23/2002

When reviewing personal security in the workplace, sexual harassment doesn’t often come up. That can be a dangerous and costly mistake, says Susan Vella, head of the sexual harassment group at the legal firm Goodman and Carr.

“The most common type of issues I deal with are ones that involve sexual assault and battery, where there is either harassment or unwanted touching by a peer, co-worker or more commonly by someone in a superior position,” she says.

Employers may be held liable and essentially assume liability for the harm an employee suffers by the intentional misconduct of another, says Vella. The Supreme Court of Canada stated vicarious liability extends to potential employee misconduct if the wrong is connected with their work.