Workplace bullying catches the eye of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission

Director looking at research into problem but thinks mediation, not legislation, is the answer to the problem

The director of New Brunswick’s Human Rights Commission said she wants to see more research on workplace bullying.

Alanah Palmer told CBC News the commission is going to look at research into bullying being conducted by the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research in Fredericton.

But she stopped short of calling for legislation to deal with the problem. The research shows that many New Brunswick workers feel harassed or threatened in the workplace. The commission already deals with the problem of workplace bullying, but Palmer said it’s not a priority.

“We know that it’s a problem in areas of higher unemployment and especially with tasks that don’t require a great deal of experience,” said Palmer. “But at this point we’ve not been tracking them. We did undergo public consultations and consultations with our stakeholders as well. And harassment in the workplace, workplace bullying, didn’t come up in any of those discussions.”

She said mediation is more effective than legislation in tackling the problem. Quebec recently passed a law banning psychological harassment in the workplace. For more information on Quebec’s law and what it means for employers, click on the related articles links below.

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