Personal Harassment

Note: this page pertains to “personal harassment” which encompasses harassment not related to protected grounds under Human Rights legislation and the University’s Human Rights Policy.  For information on the latter (e.g. sexual harassment, racial discrimination, etc.) go to Alberta Human Rights.

Article 22 (“Workplace Environment” (*link*)) of the Collective Agreement establishes your contractual right to a safe and healthy workplace.  This includes the right to a workplace free of harassment, abuse and violence.  If you have a concern about harassment, abuse or violence in the workplace, please contact the President of the Faculty Association (*link*).  If you are unable to contact the President, contact the Vice-President, Policy and Senior Grievance Officer, or another member of the Mount Royal Faculty Association’s Executive Board.  Note that Article 22.2.3 requires faculty employees to report to the employee’s immediate supervisor, or Dean, any situation in the workplace which the employee believes to be unsafe or unhealthy (for more information, *link*)  The Faculty Association can provide confidential consultation, advice, and support to members who are bringing forward, or who are considering, a complaint of personal harassment in the workplace.

Personal harassment is conduct or comment which is intimidating, demeaning or abusive, and may be accompanied by directed or implied threats to status, employment or career, and is behaviour which is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.  Personal harassment can take many forms, and creates a workplace that is hostile and limits and employee’s participation and/or the pursuit of their goals.  This can become severe enough that the employee dreads or avoids the workplace, and considers changing jobs or careers.  Examples of personal harassment can include:

  • Verbal and/or physical intimidation and abuse;
  • Public reprimand, ridicule, sarcasm or humiliation;
  • Bullying, by an individual or a group, including the use or threat of use of power, whether positional or social, to aggressively dominate others
  • Ostracism;
  • Excessive supervision, or setting arbitrary or unachievable goals or workloads and making implicit or explicit threats associated with failure to achieve;
  • Constant criticism or trivialization of achievements.

Performance evaluation, when conducted in a fair and reasonable manner through legitimate processes and based on transparent criteria, does not constitute personal harassment.

Difficulty in ascertaining whether specific behaviour constitutes personal harassment should not deter a concerned faculty member from seeking confidential advice and support from the Association.