Archive for the ‘Laws Outside the U.S.’ Category New Anti-Bullying Policies In British Columbia Come Into Effect On November 1st – Are You Ready?

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

By Gary T. Clarke and Gloria Moore, Stikeman Elliott LLP,, October 27, 2013.

British Columbia Workers’ Compensation Act (the WCA) has been amended to specifically to address bullying and harassment in the workplace. The amendments became effective July 1, 2012, and broadened the circumstances in which an employee may be entitled to compensation for a mental disorder (see our previous blog post here).

The amendments provide that a worker may be entitled to compensation under the WCA if the mental disorder is predominantly caused by a significant work-related stressor, including bullying or harassment, or a cumulative series of significant work-related stressors, arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment. Previously, a worker was only entitled to compensation for a workplace stress-related illness if the mental stress arose from an “acute reaction to a sudden and traumatic event”.

In addition to broadening the definition of mental disorder, WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors has approved three Occupational Health and Safety Policies (the Policies) that clarify the role of employers, supervisors and workers in the prevention of workplace bullying and harassment in Sections 115, 116 and 117 of the WCA. The Policies take effect on November 1, 2013 and WorkSafeBC expects that all parties – employers, supervisors and workers – will be compliant with them by this date.



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WBI Survey: Half of workplace bullied targets forgo taking leave

Monday, February 11th, 2013

WBI 2013-A Instant Poll

Individuals who are bullied at work can suffer stress. With prolonged exposure, that stress can trigger stress-related diseases. Health complications follow. At some point, those individuals are adversely affected and work suffers. It becomes apparent to them, coworkers, and family members that leave from work should be taken to allow for health recovery.

Leave options for American workers include taking paid sick leave, filing for workers compensation, taking family medical leave or seeking disability insurance. Only 23% of private-sector employers offer at least one day of paid sick leave. There is no national mandate for employers to provide paid sick leave in the U.S.



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Posted in Bullying & Health, Laws Outside the U.S., WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

Guest: Workplace bullying litigation – a nasty war of attrition

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Workplace Bullying Litigation – A Nasty War of Attrition
By Luke Williams, July 27, 2012, Australian Broadcast Corp (ABC, The Drum)

What’s worse than being bullied in your workplace? Making a complaint about it.

Countless victims say that when they make bullying complaints internally, their employer has a tendency to take sides; either ignoring, suppressing or over-reacting to their complaints.

Employer responses to allegations of workplace bullying often become an extension of the bullying culture – exacerbating the cruel, calculating and costly behaviour which created the very problem to begin with.



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Posted in Guest Articles, Laws Outside the U.S., Tutorials About Bullying | 3 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

France Telecom Ex-Executive Lombard Held Accountable for Bullying & Suicides

Friday, July 6th, 2012

France Telecom, for 115 years a national utility, was partially privatized in 1998 with the public owning the majority of shares. In 2004, the government sold its shares, turning over the industry to private investors. In 2005, Didier Lombard was named chief executive. He pressed for a corporate-wide drive for “efficiency.” Layoffs topped 20,000. Surviving employees complained of being put under tremendous pressure by all managers. The stress was systemic.

A spate of suicides followed. One employee stabbed himself at a meeting. One employee set himself ablaze outside the Paris headquarters. Between 2008 and 2011, there were 60 suicides that Lombard discounted as a “suicide trend.” Under pressure, Lombard resigned in 2012. He is being held accountable for 35 of those suicides.

France’s law against bullying (moral harassment) has been invoked against Lombard. He was detained and released on 100,000 euros bail ($125,000). Normally, the law is applied in cases where the harassment is directly applied. No executive has ever been held accountable for this indirect harassment. This is a test case.

Stay tuned.

The story as reported by Reuters.


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British Columbia: Bullying now part of Workers Compensation law

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Effective July 1, 2012, workers injured by bullying in the province of British Columbia can be considered legitimate complainants. The Workers Compensation Act was amended (by Bill 14 authored by Margaret MacDiarmid, a physician and the Minister of Labor) to allow claims for mental disorders “predominantly caused by a significant work-related stressor, including bullying or harassment or a cumulative series of significant work-related stressors” if diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist and if not the result of allowed employer actions (changes in work to be performed, working conditions, discipline or termination).

The new law is good news. It extends the universe of work-related conduct addressed by Workers Comp farther than in any other province. It allows bullied targets to show the pattern established by their bully. We know the most harm comes from exposure to a cumulative series of tortuous incidents. We expect most bullying-related WC cases in the future to take advantage of the new wording.

Employers, in all employment-related laws, including our Healthy Workplace Bill, are given the latitude to still manage and terminate their employees. The gift to employers does not undo the benefits of the passage of Bill 14 for BC residents. You can read the text of Bill 14 here.

Canadian progress continues to shame American lawmakers who, to date, have not yet passed into law our anti-bullying legislation.


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Posted in Bullying & Health, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Laws Outside the U.S. | 4 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

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