Character Analysis: Contributors to Domestic and Workplace Violence
Workplace violence may take many forms and can have far-reaching consequences for employees’ health and well-being, job duration, employment stability, and career satisfaction. According to Hango and Moyser (2018), workplace harassment encompasses verbal abuse, demeaning behavior, personal threats, physical assault, and sexually inappropriate attention or sexual harassment. Verbal abuse and humiliating conduct are the most typical forms of workplace harassment. Hango and Moyser (2018) define workplace harassment as disagreeable or undesirable behavior, words, or acts by an individual at any work-related event or venue that can be reasonably assumed to insult, threaten, embarrass, or humiliate. According to Workplace Health & Safety Centre. (n.d.), workplace violence victims might experience physical and psychological stress. All workers are vulnerable to workplace violence, but those who deal with the public are more susceptible to aggression. Women have a heightened risk of workplace harassment owing to the gender imbalance in high-risk industries such as retail, community services, and health care (Workplace Health & Safety Centre, n.d.). Employees of any gender in any occupation are equally vulnerable to psychological assault.
The case study is an example of workplace violence, and it involves Susan, a 26-year-old woman recently promoted to a managerial position, and May, a 59-year-old store manager. Susan came under continual observation and was frequently the target of May’s verbal assaults. Susan was being blamed for faults that were not her responsibility, and she was beginning to regret her choice to take on management duties. May was angry with Susan when she notified her about her worries and concerns. May expressed guilt for promoting Susan to management and concluded the talk with an ultimatum for Susan to consider: if Susan did not improve, she would be demoted.
Thus, Susan is a victim of workplace harassment, whereas May is an abuser. Susan had a friend who worked at the store; she was not a manager, but Susan frequently spoke with her friend about work experience. Susan discovered that her friend was disclosing all of the private information she was sharing. One Susan’s staff member, who felt terrible for her, wanted to help but was hesitant to say anything since she was terrified of May too. No staff members were eager to assist Susan, and she felts isolated from a group of coworkers she had known for years. Moreover, Susan was not the only victim of May’s pressure, threats, and assaults.
Community Support: Government Level Policies
Susan experiences verbal assaults and threats at the workplace; no children are at risk. Nonetheless, according to the case study, no one reported May’s inappropriate behavior leading to a statement that there are more employees at risk of experiencing workplace violence. There is no need to dial 911 because it is intended for emergencies. Employees can access further information by calling “the Service Ontario Contact Centre at 416 326-5300 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday” (Ministry of Labour, 2016, p. 2). Addiction or other counseling services will not be required, and there is no housing issue. It is vital to consider investigating government-level policies before taking action. The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1 of Ontario establishes the rights and responsibilities of all parties in the workplace for occupational health and safety (Ministry of Labour, 2016). The act stipulates criminal enforcement when voluntary compliance has not been attained.
Hence, the workplace violence and harassment criteria establish basic standards and define the rights and responsibilities of all individuals who play a part in relating to workplace violence and harassment. The Occupational Health and Safety Act’s primary goal is to promote a robust Internal Responsibility System (IRS) for the workplace (Ministry of Labour, 2016). Employers must address any undesirable behaviors as soon as possible to reduce the possibility of workplace violence. According to the Ministry of Labour (2016), the Criminal Code of Canada addresses issues such as violent conduct, sexual abuse, threats, and stalking; In such cases, the police should be informed. Harassment may also be a violation of Ontario’s Human Rights Code. According to the case study, workplace harassment includes demeaning, ridiculing, intimidating, or offending statements, jokes, innuendos, and bullying. Workers can report workplace harassment occurrences or concerns verbally or in writing (Ministry of Labour, 2016). When saying verbally, the reporting contact should fill out the formal complaint alongside the worker reporting mistreatment.
The Needs of Identified Victims and Offenders in Domestic and Workplace Settings: Remedial Actions
Susan, the victim, needs a healthy work environment to promote and empower her potential as a manager, as well as corporate principles that forbid discrimination. May, the offender should be educated and trained on the workplace harassment code of behavior. Other employees engaged in the case study should also be informed on steps to take when confronted with or experiencing workplace violence. For instance, the colleague who wanted to help Susan but was afraid must have reported May’s abusive behavior immediately to solve the issues for Susan and the company’s healthy environment. Human rights, integrity, and fairness are fundamental principles in Canadian society and a pillar of government policy; most critically, human rights are protected by legislation. (“Organizational responsibility,” n.d.). Employers, unions, and service providers are required under the Code to offer inclusive and non-discriminatory settings. Harassment and discrimination are illegal, and companies that do not make necessary efforts to prevent and resolve harassment and discrimination may face legal consequences (“Organizational responsibility,” n.d.). In these circumstances, the organization should take further actions to address the issue, such as training and education, as well as reviewing and eliminating impediments.
Each character plays a crucial role in responding adequately to harassment or inappropriate behavior, such as May’s verbal assaults against Susan. Ballard and Easteal (2018) claim that workplace maltreatment, whether it be bullying, sexual or non-sexual harassment, or other workplace violence, is a severe issue for workers and organizations. OHSCO (n.d.) informs that if inappropriate actions are tolerated, the workplace atmosphere may become unpleasant or abusive. Workers might be less productive and engaged in their tasks when they get increasingly nervous or upset (OHSCO, n.d.). Additionally, it is critical that all employees, especially managers and supervisors, obtain information and guidance on workplace violence, the procedures that relate to their jobs, and the reporting and investigation stages.
Plan Proposal: Developing a Workplace Harassment Policy and Documentation
Employers can take a variety of steps to avoid workplace violence. Education and training are certainly at the leading edge of the measures employers can enforce. Nonetheless, preserving an environment that fosters equal treatment of all employees, a diverse workforce, genuine and productive complaint resolution, and immediate response to employees’ concerns during times of change and anxiety is necessary. The company should establish contextually relevant documentation related to domestic and workplace violence to suit the demands of employers within organizations dealing with domestic and workplace violence concerns.
In case of workplace harassment, such as experienced by Susan, it is necessary to prepare a report of the incident. The document should include the name and contact information of the worker who has allegedly suffered workplace harassment, the names of the alleged harasser, role and contact information, and any witnesses or other individuals with pertinent data (Ministry of Labour, 2016). Furthermore, the claimed incident’s specifics should be provided, including dates, frequency, and places. A workplace harassment event or complaint should be reported immediately after experiencing or witnessing an incident.
Moreover, the company should develop a plan to deal with workplace violence to avoid further occurrences of workplace violence. For instance, the employer should implement a zero-tolerance policy that covers all types of workplace violence, including harassment and bullying (Workplace Health & Safety Centre, n.d.). This legal document and employees’ awareness will assist in ensuring a healthy environment and employees’ rights. Workers should be aware of their obligations in dealing with workplace harassment “under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code” (OHSCO, n.d., p. 28). (OHSCO, n.d., p. 28). The proposed plan involves gathering information on the workplace harassment incidents from each employee, and the complaints must be investigated further.
Employers must have processes that allow employees to voice their concerns about workplace harassment. For example, if the system requires employees to submit harassment allegations to their manager, there should be other mechanisms for employees to report harassment from their management (OHSCO, n.d.). Susan was harassed by her manager May and received no assistance from her coworkers since they were scared to report May’s actions. As a result, the approach is to create a system in which employees may anonymously share their experiences, opinions, and complaints. Once the plan is actioned, which includes the policy, documentation, and the anonymous system, workplace violence, and harassment will be monitored and penalized appropriately to provide a pleasant working environment for all employees.
Ballard, A., & Easteal, P. (2018). The secret silent spaces of workplace violence: Focus on bullying (and harassment). Laws, 7(4), 35.
Hango, D., & Moyser, M. (2018). Insights on Canadian society: Harassment in Canadian workplaces. Statistics Canada.
Ministry of Labour. (2016). Health and safety guidelines. Workplace violence and harassment: Understanding the law.
Workplace Health & Safety Centre. (n.d.). Version 4.0. Workplace violence: Predictable and preventable.