3 Canadian Lab. & Emp. L.J. 95 (1994-1995)
Changing the Workplace Culture through Effective Harassment Remedies

handle is hein.journals/canlemj3 and id is 95 raw text is: Changing the Workplace Culture
Through Effective Harassment
Mary Cornish and Suzanne Lopez*
Cornish and Lopez begin by stressing the importance of recognizing sexual
harassment as a national workplace crisis which has devastating psychological, physi-
cal and economic consequences for those who experience it. They note that sexual
harassment has been recognized as a health and safety problem as well as a form of
sex discrimination in recent decisions. The authors argue that the pervasiveness and
systemic nature of sexual harassment require a three-pronged remedial strategy:
systemic changes through employment equity measures to ensure greater represen-
tation of women at all levels in the workplace; prevention measures employing training
and communication strategies; and sexual harassment complaint procedures providing
access to effective remedies. The authors canvass extensively the adjudicative remedies
available under human rights legislation and collective agreement arbitration.
Workers's compensation and health and safety legislation are also discussed as poten-
tial avenues for redress. The authors stress the need for adjudicators in all types of
sexual harassment proceedings to be more willing to order systemic remedies which
address the prevention of future harassment, they are particularly critical of what they
describe as a traditional reluctance on the part of grievance arbitrators to exercise
their remedial authority in an effective manner. However, they argue that recent
amendments to the Ontario Labour Relations Act which expressly give arbitrators the
authority to interpret and apply human rights legislation should be interpreted as
giving arbitrators the authority to apply the remedial provisions of the human rights
code in grievances where sexual harassment is at issue.
(a) Introduction
The key to formulating effective harassment remedies is a firm
understanding of the problem. While this may seem self-evident, the
Mary Cornish is a senior partner at Cavalluzzo, Hayes, Shilton, McIntyre and
Cornish. Suzanne Lopez is an associate lawyer at the firm, which specializes in
all aspects of labour and human rights law.

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