Offices in Ottawa and Perth
(613) 722-1500

CONTACT US (613) 722-1500

Laughter at the Workplace: Good Fun or Harassment?

Laughter at the Workplace: Good Fun or Harassment?

By:

Mann Lawyers

Posted May 14, 2013

Over the past year, I have been an Executive on the Board for the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) –  Brockville Chapter. It has been a great experience, and the folks on this Board are truly passionate and committed human resources professionals. On May 8, 2013, I attended the Annual Business Meeting for the Chapter. We had a great speaker for the event: Paul Huschilt, a professional speaker and storyteller. He spoke (and sang and danced) about the “Seven Humor Habits for Workplace Wellness”. I greatly enjoyed his presentation and message: laughter in the workplace is a good thing and that it is a great stress reducer.

Laughter is a perfect medicine to reduce stress. At the same time, sometimes jokes are offensive. The line between a funny joke and an offensive one is not always apparent. In 2010, the Occupational Health and Safety Act was amended to impose greater obligations on employers to take positive steps to prevent harassment and violence in the workplace. For example, employers are legally obligated to maintain and implement a workplace harassment policy that includes: (a) measure and procedures for workers to report incidents of workplace harassment to a supervisor; and (b) details as to how the employer will investigate and deal with a complaint of harassment. Employees should be encouraged, without any fear of reprisal, to raise concerns when humor in the workplace crosses a line and becomes offensive and employers have to take those concerns seriously. More information is available on the Ontario Ministry of Labour website.

Colleen Hoey is an Ottawa-based lawyer practicing in the areas of Employment Law, Human Rights Law, and Civil Litigation at Mann & Partners, LLP. The articles on this blog are not intended to provide legal advice. Should you require legal advice, please contact Mann & Partners, LLP at 613-722-1500.

More Resources

Blog |
Family Law
By: 
Co-parenting with your ex-partner can be challenging. It involves constant coordination and communication about various aspects of your children’s lives. Whether it is about schedules,[...]
Blog |
Wills, Trusts and Estates
By: 
Over time, individuals could acquire assets in different jurisdictions that are governed by different legal systems. Similar to the consideration of double wills in distinguishing[...]
Blog |
Family Law
By: 

Posted January 31, 2024

In the first part of this series, we reviewed the background, trial, and appeal to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in Anderson v Anderson. This[...]
Blog |
Practice Management
By: 

Posted January 26, 2024

On July 17, 1797, ten lawyers were present at the Wilson’s Hotel in Newark, Upper Canada, to read “An Act for the better regulating the[...]
Blog |
Business Law
By: 

Posted January 23, 2024

A not-for-profit corporation incorporated pursuant to the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (the “CNCA”) is required to maintain certain records, including records as to its members,[...]
Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights
By: 

Posted January 17, 2024

In November of 2023, the Ontario government introduced new legislation, once again, amending the Employment Standards Act, strengthening employment and labour laws in the province.[...]

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
Consent*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.