Harassment in the workplace

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Everyone deserves a respectful workplace, whether you are a student on work-study placement, or a life-long employee. We all contribute to a respectful place by how we treat each other. For several years the Workplace Violence and Abuse Team of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research promoted the week containing Labour Day (September 1 to 7, 2014) as Respectful Workplace Week in the province of New Brunswick. This year, President Campbell declared the same week Respectful Workplace Week at UNB. We hope this initiative will help raise awareness of the right that each of us has to be respected in our working and learning environments. Hopefully, individuals will reflect on and consider their own behaviours and how they might impact others.

One problem in our work and learning environments is bullying: harassment involving persistent and repeated unwelcome, humiliating behaviours, and the abuse of power and control. Bullying can be subtle; bullied individuals may not recognize, understand, or label their experiences as bullying. This lack of recognition delays identifying bullying, prolongs the negative behaviour, and worsens effects on health. Raising awareness about the problem and its harmful effects is critical.

One way to raise awareness is to inform the community. To highlight Respectful Workplace Week, watch for featured items on social media and myUNB News throughout the week. If you feel like you are being bullied, talk to the Office of Human Rights and Positive Environment (Ganong Hall, Rm. 200A). Inquiries are confidential, providing resources and strategies. Remember to create a place you want to be in, by treating others with respect, and have a great week!