What is workplace violence?

Workplace violence includes not only physical assaults, but any act at work in which a person is abused, threatened, intimidated, bullied, assaulted or experiences fear.

It's not part of anyone's job to put up with:

Physical assault; harassment; ridicule; unwelcome teasing; harmful or malicious gossip; bullying; intimidation; verbal or written threats; intentional property damage. What does workplace violence look like?

Some examples:

"She refuses my vacation time. She always schedules me to work Friday and Saturday night, and she makes me feel like I'm lying if I call in sick..."

"He waits until no one else is around, then he stands really close to me...in my space. He says things that make me uncomfortable...then he says he's only joking..."

"The last time it happened, files went missing from my desk, a family photo I had on my bookshelf was broken and a report that I had been working on was deleted from my computer."

"When I went to get in my car at the end of the day, my tires had been slashed. And that's not the first time it's happened."

"Even though she can't control her anger in her present state of mind, I'm now facing months of dental surgery, lost time at work and fear of returning to work. I know she'll do it again."

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Quick facts

  • One in three employees (29%) reports experiencing verbal threats, ridicule or harassment. Intimidation and verbal threats, however, could lead to physical harm, and thousands of employees go to work in fear, as the poll shows.
  • Produced by CAWV, the Coalition Against Workplace Violence with financial assistance from the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour