Bullied Nova Scotia hospital workers awarded $10,000 and written apology

Manager’s bullying and sexual harassment created poisoned workplace for group of employees

A Nova Scotia arbitrator has awarded a group of hospital workers $10,000 for bullying and sexual harassment they suffered at work.

Seventeen of the 25 employees at the donated tissue bank for the Capital District Health Authority in Halifax complained of a poisoned work environment created by a manager. The employees claimed the manager made inappropriate comments and frequently threatened the workers with their jobs. In 2005, they filed a grievance for sexual harassment and bullying through their union.

After two years, an arbitrator ruled in the employees’ favour, awarding the group $10,000 in damages and ordering the CEO of the health authority to write a letter of apology.

Employees who took sick leave because of the harassment will have their sick time reinstated will be compensated for lost overtime. They are free to spend the money as they see fit.

The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union lauded the decision. Union president Joan Jessome told CBC news awarding such an amount to a group of employees for use at their own discretion for bullying and harassment in the workplace was “groundbreaking.”

The manager in question is no longer employed with the health authority.

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