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  • Writer's pictureJeff Tudhope

Canadian Olympic Committee employees' sexual harassment allegations substantiated.

In October 2015, the Canadian Olympic Committee's president resigned amid allegations that he had sexually harassed three female employees. The first employee came forward with a complaint in September 2015, followed by two others a couple of weeks later.

An external review of the complaints identified that the Committee was severely lacking in providing a method for employees to feel safe acting upon inappropraite workplace conduct.

In particular, recommendations were made to strengthen the Committee's harassment policy by including an obligation to report harassment, training for employees, improved record keeping regarding complaint files, and the identification of a dedicated resource who will be available as a contact person for emploees who wish to file complaints.

It may be surprising to read that an organization as prominent as the Canadian Olympic Committee could be so severely lacking in its handling of workplace misconduct, however, the reality is that the C.O.C. is closer to the norm than you may think.

Now that the review is completed, it is likely that the C.O.C. will implement a proper system, but they found out the hard way - through a high profile complaint which was caused by the mistreatment of three employees and resulted in the resignation of their president and the reporting of their deficiencies in the media. Perhaps, if the C.O.C. had taken the initiative to implement proper policies, training, and complaint procedures at an earlier stage, the workplace behaviour that led to the complaints would have never occurred.

Don't find out the hard way. If you are concerned about the ability of your business to prevent and/or properly address misconduct, contact TudhopeHR and together we can start making a plan to protect your employees and your business.

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