Any kind of harassment in the office, from violence and threats, to direct assault, may become a crime if you do not report it at the early stages. Some people accept bullying while others do not tolerate a violent expression. This occurs due to the difference in social and ethical values of individuals. However, your government has defined office harassment laws in their policies, which you must read out.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission describes harassment as ‘Harassment is a form of discrimination. It involves any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends or humiliates you. Generally, harassment is a behaviour that persists over time. Serious one-time incidents can also sometimes be considered harassment’.
Your state laws may also be different from the other states. The Ontario Ministry of Labor has described office harassment laws in detail. Click here to read further details.
Different Types of Office Harassment Crimes
Office bullies stress you out directly or indirectly. The direct bullies are similar to school bullies. They degrade your reputation with the use of sarcasm, but it is not a crime. The indirect bullies play with your reputation by misinterpreting the information about you or spreading rumors. Bullying becomes a crime when it involves verbal abuse, stereotypical statements, or physical bullying.
Bullying or stalking on the internet is called cyber-bullying or cyber-stalking. It is considered a crime in Canada. The punishments involves warning for simple stalking, to imprisonment for the evidence of misuse of the social media photographs, and such. Contact Canadian Cyber Crime Cell for direct aid.
Hate Crimes/ Violence/ Physical Assault
Hate crimes are one of the fastest growing crimes in West. These crimes may involve psychological disorders, which means that the criminal may cause any type of threat to you, from verbal abuse to attempt to murder crimes. Make sure to report such crimes in the beginning, before they take a toll.
Sexual harassments like an unwelcoming touch, is treated as a civil crime in Canada and US. The victim may sue the person and settle the case on compensation. Imprisonment, for such crimes is usually uncommon. However, extreme cases like rape or getting sexual favors for professional deals like a promotion are charged as social and civil crimes. The punishment includes imprisonment and fine as well as compensation to the victim.
Malicious harassment crimes are usually treated as behavioral crimes. These include crimes that do not fit the definition of other crimes. For example, biasness, unusual stares, following a person, touching the personal equipment of an employee, pushing down someone professionally, unnecessary threats, and such crimes are included in malicious harassment crimes. The punishment mostly includes monetary compensations.
Remember that Canada is one of the few countries in the world that strive to make their land free from all types of crimes. You should not tolerate any kind of harassment, be it at your workplace or anywhere else. Make sure to read the office harassment policy of your organization. Also, contact a security organization like SWAT Protection to understand and know your rights!