Close the door on liability: Train workers to prevent harassment

By Lesley Young
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/12/2001

Employers are quick to slap up codes of conduct but often slow on the follow-through. Failure to properly educate and train all levels of employees — not just management — in harassment and misconduct can leave employers open to liability.

“The problem with effective management of disputes and effective protection from liability is that employers drop the ball part way a lot of the time,” says Melanie Polowin, associate at the Ottawa offices of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt.

Having a policy in place is the first step, she says, but it is not effective protection unless the company can demonstrate in a concrete way that it means what it says. It has to help employees understand what they are and are not supposed to do.