As accusations of harassment by the rich and powerful continue to make headlines, condo communities should be aware of harassment occurring in their home.
Accusations of inappropriate behaviour abound in condo communities. Residents, thinking they can say what they want in their home, forget their home is a workplace for employees of the corporation. And Ontario has laws protecting employees from harassment.
Actions which can constitute harassment:
- Making fun of a security guard or cleaner’s English or accent
- Resident yelling at a condo employee or threatening their job
- Micro management of employees by condo directors
- A resident threatening to sue
Employees are expected to report abuse or harassment. When not resolved before reaching the courts, judgements can be significant.
In 2016 a condo owner was ordered to stop harassing behaviour. The court awarded $15,000 in costs to the condo corporation which sought to curtail this behaviour.
Community meetings, including the Annual General Meeting, can become heated. When the level of discourse becomes abusive or threatening and is directed to an employee workplace considerations apply. No employee should be expected to accept personal abuse, ridicule or threats.
Owners have the right to inquire. They have the right to criticize and complain. What they don’t have is the right to make things personal by degrading, humiliating, harassing or threatening an individual. When this occurs the condo corporation, as employer, has an obligation to take action.