• Frances Jagtoo

Lessons from the Ghomeshi Case - Promoting Healthy Work Environments

The CBC fired one of its radio show hosts, Jian Ghomeshi. The former radio host alleges that he was fired due to certain aspects of his sex life being made public. He launched a lawsuit against the CBC seeking $55 million in damages for breach of confidence and defamation.

Multiple women have made allegations against Ghomeshi, pre and post-termination, of non-consensual sexual violence. The CBC hired a third-party employment lawyer to conduct an independent investigation. A workplace investigation report was prepared and made public by the CBC. Some of the issues addressed in the report include findings, conclusions and recommendations with respect to the manner in which the employer dealt with complaints of inappropriate behaviour.

A lesson from the report: to promote a healthy work environment, it may be useful to:

1. Draft and implement workplace policies that create and foster a healthy work environment; these policies should equally apply to all employees regardless of role or status;

2. Clearly set out behavioural standards and accountabilities;

3. Create awareness of standards and accountabilities throughout an organization among all employees;

4. Clearly outline the procedure for reporting inappropriate workplace behaviour; and Train employees to receive, respond to and address complaints of inappropriate workplace behaviour.

5. Training programs should inform employees of options to deal with inappropriate workplace behaviour and the channels that an employee has to report it.

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