Quebec workers are well aware of the legal provisions respecting psychological harassment in the workplace. A CROP survey conducted in April 2007 for the Ordre des CRHA et CRIA du Québec (ORHRI), as part of its June 1 seminar on psychological harassment, reveals that 83 % know that Quebec has legislation providing recourse for victims of psychological harassment at work.
“ It’s encouraging to see this level of awareness as we celebrate the third anniversary of these provisions of the “ It’s encouraging to see this level of awareness as we celebrate the third anniversary of these provisions of the Act respecting Labour Standards, ” commented Florent Francoeur, CHRP, Ordre president and CEO.
Conversely, however, 17 % of those interviewed said they weren’t aware of any such recourse. Some 32 % of this group were non-francophones, compared to 13 % francophones.
From legislation to recourse…
As for actually taking advantage of this recourse, even though they realize that they are protected by legislation, 20 % of respondents claimed they would be afraid to file a complaint against their employer if they were victims of psychological harassment. This percentage is higher among employees aged 55 and over (33 %) and among non-francophones (35 %).
“ Obviously, some workers may be reluctant to exercise their rights because they fear reprisals. However, the institutions governing workers' rights are well structured in Quebec ” added Francoeur.
91 % of respondents familiar with the Act respecting Labour Standards
The provisions on psychological harassment are set out in the Act respecting Labour Standards (ALS). According to the CROP-ORHRI survey, 91 % of workers in Quebec are familiar with or have heard about the ALS.
Sound management is always in good taste...
The ALS provisions are intended to ensure that employees work in an environment free from psychological harassment. Employers have to take reasonable steps to provide this environment and when this type of harassment is brought to their attention, they must take action to eliminate it.
“ Of course, the Act doesn’t override employers’ rights to manage their organization. They can still require certain tasks to be performed or institute disciplinary measures, but only with a view to sound management. They need to maintain respectful relations, treat their employees fairly, be on the alert for conflicts and manage them appropriately when they arise. And that’s where HR professionals are valuable assets to any organization, ” concluded Francoeur.
To learn more...
Download the results of the CROP survey (in French only).