Workplace Harassment Law

Workplace Harassment Lawyers providing Advice and Representation to employees from Toronto and Across Ontario

On any given day in Toronto and across Ontario, you are bound to hear people in your workplace, in the media, in your family, or in your circle of friends, talk about workplace harassment. To them workplace harassment is either defined by, and confined to, the headlines of sensational tabloid magazines, or is the subject of intense theoretical and legal debate.

For you, it is very different. For you, workplace harassment is very real, very practical, and very personal. You may not know what the legal definition of workplace harassment is but you know that you have been mistreated, and you know that the mistreatment is repeated, unwelcome, and offensive. There is no debate about whether or not you need to do something. You know that the workplace harassment will not stop unless you take steps to make it stop. What is less clear however is who you can talk to, who you can trust, and what your legal and other options are. You need answers and you need them right away.

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How do you know if you are being harassed at work?

Deep down most employees don’t need a lawyer to tell them that they are being harassed at work. Most employees know when they are being bullied, abused, touched inappropriately, humiliated, threatened, or ridiculed at work but many of them feel isolated, stigmatized, and powerless to hold those who have harassed them and their employers accountable. In a strict legal sense, workplace harassment has commonly been described in the following terms:

Workplace harassment occurs when a person engages – intentionally or unintentionally – in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that he, she, or they knew or ought to have known would be found to be unwelcome and/or offensive to an employee. The affected employee may feel harassed for reasons related to their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status, or disability, or may feel harassed for reasons unrelated to any of those identities. Whether or not the affected employee’s experience constitutes unlawful workplace harassment and/or human rights-based harassment depends upon whether or not the behaviour occurs within the context of the employment relationship and is assessed against an objective standard that asks what a reasonable person in that employee’s situation would perceive to be unwelcome or offensive.”

Why should you consult with Franklin Law?

Like you, employees and other workers from Toronto and across Ontario come to Franklin Law because they want to level the playing field, restore their sense of power, and work with experienced workplace harassment lawyers who are committed to representing employees’ and other workers’ interests exclusively and without apology.

They come to Franklin Law because they want candid and timely advice from our experienced and trusted workplace harassment lawyers about what the law says about what they have experienced, what legal and other options are available to them, and how they can secure compensation and other remedies for the injustice they have experienced at work.

Here are a few reasons why Franklin Law is uniquely positioned to help employees and other workers just like you who have experienced harassment at work:

  • We only represent employees and other workers – Franklin Law’s workplace harassment lawyers practice exclusively in the areas of employment law, human rights law, and labour law, and have over 15 years of experience advising and representing unionized and non-unionized employees in Toronto and throughout Ontario who have been harassed for human rights and other reasons contrary Ontario’s Human Rights Code, Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, Canada’s Canadian Human Rights Act, and/or the common law.

  • We provide employees with a safe space – Although all workers need effective legal representation, we do not defend employees and other workers who have been accused of workplace harassment. By limiting our practice in this way, we provide a supportive and safe environment in which those who believe that they have been harassed can tell their stories and secure the redress they deserve, without fear of being judged or further victimized, or running into the person they allege has harassed them.

  • We understand the need for access to justice – Franklin Law understands access to justice and the financial burden faced by most employees affected by workplace harassment, particularly those who have been forced out of the workplace. We offer employees and other workers two types of consultations at incredibly reasonable rates and always represent employees on a flat fee basis rather than an hourly basis.

  • We represent Unionized and non-Unionized Employees – Unlike many employment law firms, Franklin Law advises unionized employees who have experienced workplace harassment, and, in appropriate cases, can represent unionized employees who are unable to get the help that they want or need through their Unions.

What should you do if you have experienced workplace harassment?

Step 1: Protect your interests and your rights

This is not the time for quick uninformed decision making. This is not the time to use your employer’s internal harassment complaint process, file a human rights complaint at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, file a complaint at the Canadian Human Rights Commission, file a complaint at the Ministry of Labour, seek redress through a grievance, or seek redress through a constructive dismissal lawsuit in Court. 

Each option has its own pros and cons and the consequences of making the wrong decision can be catastrophic both financially and in terms of your sense of dignity, self-esteem, mental health, and livelihood. This is the time to document as much as you can, think about your strategy going forward, and figure out what option will best suit your needs.

Step 2: Employees and other workers in Toronto and from across Ontario should meet with one of Franklin Law’s Workplace Harassment Lawyers

In order to figure out what to do next, you need information that you can trust. Now is the time to speak to an experienced workplace harassment lawyer who understands employment law, human rights law, and labour law, is committed to representing employees, and knows the strengths and weaknesses of pursuing redress at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, in grievance arbitration, or in Court.

It is often difficult to determine the best forum in which to seek redress when you have been harassed at work. Figuring out the best way to hold harassers and your employer accountable and secure the compensation you deserve often requires legal training and “hands on” experience that most employees and many lawyers do not have.

Now is the time to book a Franklin Law consultation.