By New Brunswick Human Rights Commission
A new initiative to provide New Brunswick workers with free legal advice on workplace sexual harassment was launched today.
The Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyer Referral Program is the first of its kind in the province. It offers clients an initial two-hour consultation with a lawyer who will review their situation and explore options of recourse and potential outcomes. The lawyers are trained in such matters and can help workers understand their rights.
“If you need answers to questions about the complaint process for workplace sexual harassment, or how to report it, the lawyer referral program is a free service to access help and legal advice,” said Amber Chisholm, associate director at the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick (PLEIS-NB). “This project hopes to bridge gaps in access to legal advice for employees who want to know more about their rights and their options when navigating these often sensitive and difficult situations.”
The program is part of a joint initiative of PLEIS-NB and the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission called Safer Places NB, which is a five-year project funded by Justice Canada to help employers and employees address and prevent workplace sexual harassment.
“Navigating any legal process can be a worrying experience to some,” said commission director Marc-Alain Mallet. “We want people to know there is help if they feel they are subject to sexual harassment in the workplace.”
To qualify for the program, a person must be 16 or older and have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work in New Brunswick. People can enrol by filling out a form on the Safer Places NB website or calling the referral line at 1-888-236-2444. Qualifying clients will receive a list of participating lawyers and a voucher to use with the lawyer of their choice. More information on the program is available online.