Harsh choice

Harsh choice

June 25, 2019

25 June, 2019

A provincial government employee complained to us that the practices of the Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Office (WDHP) were onerous and unfair.

A provincial government employee complained to us that the practices of the Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Office (WDHP) were onerous and unfair. This office, part of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, investigates complaints of discrimination and harassment in the Ontario Public Service. When the woman was on medical leave due to the stress of the alleged harassment she had experienced, WDHP officials gave her two choices: Provide a medical certificate stating that participating in the investigation would not aggravate her medical condition, or sign a waiver stating that she accepted responsibility for any negative impacts the investigation may have on her. She did not feel able to give this kind of assurance. Ombudsman staff raised concerns with the WDHP that such requirements could deter victims of workplace harassment from making complaints. The WDHP informed us that in the wake of our discussions, it has decided to change this practice.

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