Discrimination, Harrassment, & Bullying in the Workplace

Consistent with our Employment Equity & Human Rights Policy and in accordance with the Human Rights Code, Ian Martin is committed to providing a work environment which is free from discrimination, harrassment, and bullying.

These concepts are not created equally, however—and it’s important to know the differences between them, as well as what does not constitute these serious issues.


Here’s how Ian Martin defines discrimination, harrassment, and bullying:

Discrimination: unequal or unfair treatment in professional opportunities, education, benefits, evaluation, and employment (such as hiring, termination, promotion, compensation). Discriminatory practices can be explicit or implicit, intentional, or unconscious.

Harrassment: a single intense and severe act, or of multiple persistent or pervasive acts, which are unwanted, unwelcome, demeaning, abusive, or offensive. These acts may include epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping based on gender, race, sexual identity, or other categories, as protected by Canadian or American federal law. Also included are threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and displays; and/or circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or a group.

Bullying: bullying as the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others in the professional environment that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. These actions can include abusive criticism, humiliation, the spreading of rumors, physical and verbal attacks, isolation, undermining, and professional exclusion of individuals through any means.

Discrimination, harrassment, and bullying is not:  

  • Expressing differences of opinion.
  • Offering constructive feedback, guidance, or advice about work related behaviour.
  • Reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the place of employment – e.g.,
    • managing a worker’s performance,
    • taking reasonable disciplinary actions,
    • scheduling workloads,
    • inspecting the workplace,
    • assigning work.