Anyone with a workplace sexual harassment complaint in B.C. can now access free, confidential legal advice from a new program launched this week.
Called SHARP Workplaces, the program provides free legal advice, education and information to address workplace sexual harassment in the province.
According to a release, individuals can access up to five hours of legal advice through the program. Lawyers will provide advice on legal options, help with reviewing or drafting documents, coaching to guide clients through a complaint or legal process, and referrals to services for additional support, including counseling, peer support and employment services.
With funding from the Department of Justice, the Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) and the Ending Violence Association of British Columbia launched the program to help workers facing sexual harassment on the job.
“Half of working women say they have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace,” CLAS Executive Director Jacqui Mendes said in the release.
“We know that many vulnerable groups — including Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+, ethnic and cultural minorities, people with disabilities, and seasonal and temporary workers — are particularly vulnerable. With this program, we aim to put more power into the hands of workers to know their rights, know what actions they can take and connect them with support.”