FREDERICTON (GNB) – The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission released today an updated Guideline on Sexual Harassment to highlight Respectful Workplace Week 2018 and as part of its ongoing mandate to promote human rights through educational resources and programs designed to eliminate discriminatory practices.

This guideline is intended to help people understand their rights and responsibilities under the province’s Human Rights Act.

“While the commission processes a high volume of inquiries each year, we know that many incidents of sexual violence are still underreported, especially with regards to sexual harassment, so it is important that people know there is help available,” said Nathalie Chiasson, commission chair. “Guidelines are an effective tool to educate employers, service providers, legal practitioners, employees and the general public about the act and its application.”

The guideline is based upon relevant decisions by boards of inquiry, tribunals and courts and addresses topics that are relevant to the duties of employers and service providers. It includes examples and explanations of what constitutes sexual harassment, quid pro quo, poisoned work environment, signs of unwelcomeness and intersectional sexual harassment.

“Each year, the commission responds to hundreds of inquiries and requests for presentations to help organizations and individuals better understand the benefits of a diversified and respectful workplace, and also the costs associated with a toxic work environment,” said Chiasson. “There is no place in our schools, businesses or public institutions for attitudes and behaviors that lead to harassment and discrimination. The commission will continue to be the leading authority in providing information and advice on human rights.”

The Human Rights Act prohibits sexual harassment in employment, housing, public services, and in memberships of trade unions, professional or business organizations, and trade associations.

For further information about this topic, the act or the commission, New Brunswickers may contact the commission at 506-453-2301 or toll-free at 1-888-471-2233 within New Brunswick. TTY users may also reach the commission at 506-453-2911.