Ghomeshi Report Finds CBC Failed to Protect Employees from Workplace Harassment

April 21st, 2015 by Justin Winch

On Thursday, the findings of an investigation into how the CBC handled the Jian Ghomeshi scandal were made public in the form of a 52 page report. This scandal has been national news for months and the report which was drafted by an independent investigator has been eagerly anticipated.

The report, which can be found in full here, concluded that CBC management knew or ought to have known of Ghomeshi’s troubling behaviour and that it “failed to take steps required of it in accordance with its own policies to ensure its workplace was free from disrespectful and abusive conduct.”

In the most scathing indictment of the CBC, the report found that “CBC management condoned this behaviour.” As a result of this investigation 2 managers have left the CBC. Details of their exit from the company remain murky. Both have been on leave since January.

However, the report was not just about assigning blame. Recommendations were made so that the CBC of tomorrow would not repeat its mistakes of today. These recommendations included the use of spot audits, the establishment of a workplace hotline, and additional training for its employees so they can better understand the company’s internal policies. In the wake of this report, the CBC finds itself embarrassed and its President has now publicly apologized.

This is a good time for all companies to re-evaluate their own internal policies to determine if they are adequate or in need of an overhaul. Remember, employers are required to prepare a policy with respect to workplace harassment, and develop and maintain a program to implement the policy. Employers must provide information and train its employees on the contents of the policy and program. The workplace harassment program must include measures and procedures for workers to report incidents of workplace harassment and set out how the employer will investigate and deal with incidents or complaints.

Ensuring that your company’s policy is drafted and implemented properly will help avoid the predicament the CBC finds itself in today. The lawyers of Devry Smith Frank LLP will be happy to review your current harassment policy or assist in you in crafting a new policy and program which meets all of your legal obligations.


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