A former employee at the Monarch Theatre has come forward claiming she was verbally harassed by management while employed there. The woman who we will refer to as ‘Samantha’ spoke with us on the condition of anonymity.
She claims during her brief employment at the Theatre in early 2015, she was verbally harassed on a near daily basis. Samantha says she was yelled at, sworn at, she even claims on one occasion the Management threatened to hit her with a display sign. She says she tried seeking help but says her complaints were brushed off.
“I called the Labour Board and Alberta Human Rights and they were like ‘oh, it’s just bullying, just call the bullying hotline.’ It made me feel like I was alone and nobody would help.” Said Samantha.
Samantha said she didn’t contact the CCDA when this all happened because she wasn’t aware they operated the Monarch.
We spoke with the Human Rights Commission who could not comment on any specific case. They did say however, unless harassment cases are based off of some larger discriminatory issue they don’t step in.
“The Alberta Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on the grounds of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religious beliefs, gender, age, physical disability, mental disability, marital status, family status, source of income and sexual orientation.”
They said they would typically try and direct the person to other resources for help which may include the bullying hotline. They said going through your Union or a Human Resources department is an option.
If you don’t have either of those there are very few places to turn, as Alberta has no specific legislation around workplace bullying.
Quebec is currently the only jurisdiction in Canada with specific legislation addressing harassment in the workplace.
In light of the allegations against the Monarch Theatre Management, the Southeastern Alberta Sexual Assault Response Committee (SARC) and the Kind Communities Alliance (KCA) have cancelled an event at the Theatre.
In a press release they said they’ve cancel the November 7th, 2015 screening of ‘The Mask You Live In’ to be rescheduled at a later date.
“SARC and KCA would like to applaud the current direction the City Centre Development Agency (CCDA) is taking with the introduction of an impartial third party to investigate these allegations. “Our organizations take allegations of harassment of any kind extremely serious,” says Christina Johnson, Executive Director of SARC. “Sexual harassment is a human rights violation and can cause traumatizing effects for those impacted, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is our belief that all organizations and businesses, big or small, should have robust physical, verbal, and sexual harassment policies in place.””
The CCDA is currently in the processes of calling in an independent third party to conduct an investigation into the allegations. There is no word yet on who will head the investigation.
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