NO, REALLY: Why is a big bully telling the rest of us how to behave?

It’s just so ironic that one of the biggest bullies in the province is going to dictate anti-bullying policy to the rest of us

Attention all employers, you now have 27 days to establish a new policy for workplace bullying and harassment, or face the heavy hand of Work Safe B.C.

If you noticed the irony in that statement, good, because it’s just so ironic that one of the biggest bullies in the province is going to dictate anti-bullying policy to the rest of us.

For those of you who missed Wednesday’s information session at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver – h’mm, some of us do have to work – stakeholders and media were given the lowdown on what’s expected.

I couldn’t attend so I went online and read this definition of bullying and harassment as defined by Work Safe under its Occupational Health and Safety policy:

a. includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that worker to be humiliated or intimidated, but

b. excludes any reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the place of employment.

Got that?

Yes, I know, clear as muck.

Most of us understand that Work Safe is trying to educate the working public that bullying and harassment are unacceptable.

I’ve always taken that as a given and am fortunate to work in an environment where people behave with courtesy and professionalism towards others.

Others, I know, aren’t so fortunate, but I wouldn’t be relying on Work Safe BC to “save the day” if you’re working in a bad place.

In its own outline, Work Safe states there is no planned “enforcement blitz.” Rather, the provincial body will respond to enquires and complaints – but not all – and will rely on inspectors to ferret out the workplace bullies.

As well, a “victim” first needs to file an in-house report before any action, if any, is taken by Work Safe. Geez, I wonder how that will go over when you hand the complaint to the supervisor who’s named in the same report?

The other difficulty I have in Work Safe overseeing all this is its own track record. As our editor so charmingly put it, “Have you ever heard of a good story about someone filing a Work Safe claim?”

I’ve written and read far too many stories about injured workers who feel “bullied” by Work Safe in regard to how they’re treated by case workers, the massive amount of paperwork they’re expected to complete when they’re not well, or even Work Safe’s overruling of family doctors’ advise for their own patients.

In the end, I would rather have Work Safe inspectors looking for unsafe practices that can result in real physical harm to employees. This is a tangible goal and that’s what they do best.

But now, to ask them to determine who said what, or even someone’s mental state, well, that’s something that even the judicial system has trouble deciding.

paulr@campbellrivermirror.com

Just Posted

Golden anniversary for G.P. Vanier Thursday

It was a day of celebration for students, educators and administrators past… Continue reading

Comox Valley RCMP seeking witnesses of attempted sexual assault

The Comox Valley RCMP is looking for witnesses after an attempted sexual… Continue reading

UPDATE: Vehicle rams boat into Courtenay home

Driver failed sobriety test, issued roadside prohibition and released; no charges to be laid

Jangula denounces Culture Guard endorsement

Has asked to be removed from list

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Canada’s top general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault

Gen. Jonathan Vance is unhappy some troops continue to ignore his order to cease all sexual misconduct

Most Read