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Discrimination/Harassment

The Government is committed to providing a workplace free of discrimination, interference, restriction, harassment or coercion exercised or practiced with respect to any employee by reason of age, sex, race, colour, creed, national or ethnic origin, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, conviction for which a pardon has been granted, religious or political affiliation, or any other grounds proscribed by applicable legislation.

A discriminatory employment practice is one in which an employer:

  • refuses to employ or continue to employ any individual on any ground or grounds listed above; or
  • in the course of employment, differentiates adversely in relation to an employee on any ground or grounds listed above.

It is not a discriminatory practice to have a special program, for example, the Government Affirmative Action Program, which is designed to correct historical disadvantages.

Harassment Free and Respectful Workplace Policy

As set out in the Harassment Free and Respectful Workplace Policythe Government recognizes the diversity of the Public Service and is committed to providing a work environment where all individuals are treated with fairness, dignity and respect.  The Government endeavours to have a workplace free from personal harassment, sexual harassment, and the abuse of authority.

Harassment includes any improper conduct, comment or display directed at another employee and that a reasonable person would know is unwelcome.  It comprises objectionable conduct, comment or display made on either a one-time or continuous basis, that demeans, belittles, or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment to an employee.  Harassment includes a poisoned environment where offensive conduct or comments, not necessarily directed at anyone in particular, are pervasive, and have a negative effect on morale.

Sexual harassment means any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature, whether on a one-time basis or in a continuous series of incidents that might reasonably be expected to cause offence or humiliation to any employee; or that the employee might reasonably perceive as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on an opportunity for training or promotion.

Abuse of Authority is a form of harassment which occurs when an individual improperly uses the power and authority inherent in his or her position to endanger an employee’s job, undermine the performance of that job, threaten the economic livelihood of the employee, or in any way interfere with or influence the career of the employee.  It includes intimidation, threats, blackmail or coercion.