FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Premier Brian Gallant, who is also minister responsible for women’s equality:

Respect is a fundamental value in New Brunswick workplaces. Respect in the workplace is essential for contributing to increased productivity and improved morale which helps the economy and makes life better for families.

To recognize this and the importance of safe and healthy workplaces that are free from discrimination and harassment, September 5-9 has been declared Respectful Workplace Week in New Brunswick.

As an employer, the provincial government is committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. It is the employer's responsibility to prevent and eliminate harassment in the workplace.

Harassment in the workplace is a form of discrimination. It is unwelcome and unwanted. It affects the individual's ability to learn and work. It can also be an expression of abuse of power, authority, or control and is coercive in nature which has negative effects on the organization and employees.

Respectful Workplace Week is an excellent opportunity to empower employers and employees to recognize all forms of bullying and harassment and provide the knowledge and tools needed to effectively deal with all forms of workplace discrimination.

As part of this initiative, the Workplace Violence and Abuse Research Team of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research will be holding a series of free lectures on Sept. 8 at the Fredericton Public Library. The lectures will provide information, resources and education sessions specific to respect in the workplace and workplace bullying in general.

Fostering a healthy and productive work environment is everyone’s responsibility. Your government is committed to ensuring all New Brunswickers can work in healthy, respectful and inclusive workplaces where all people are valued.