Q&A for Unionized Employees

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The information provided herein does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information and content is for general informational purposes only.


Q&A for



For all of the below, please make sure to document everything and take copious notes, screenshots, etc. Please keep a record of everything.

What should you do if you experience antisemitic comment or conduct in the workplace?

  • Document everything that was said or heard (including a timeline of events, taking screenshots, and writing down what happened immediately following the incident) and document the names of any witnesses to comments or conduct.
  • Depending on your employer, there may be a variety of options. If in doubt of which to take, speak with your human resources department.
  • Federally-regulated employers are mandated to accept harassment and discrimination complaints under a separate process.
  • For other employers, you should address this with your manager or the human resources department.

What if the antisemitic comment or conduct is by a superior?

  • Speak with your human resources department for advice on how to manage conduct from a superior.

 What are the employer’s obligations if it receives a complaint of antisemitic comment or conduct in the workplace?

  • Employers must take all complaints seriously and most will have a team dedicated to inappropriate conduct or harassment in the workplace (typically within the human resources department).
  • Consult the relevant harassment policy in place at your workplace.
  • Depending on the nature of the complaint, employers should investigate complaints. This should include speaking with you and any other witnesses you have identified.
  • If your employer makes a determination following your complaint, ask to see it and you can ask what steps it has taken as a result of your complaint. If you are not provided with this information or are not satisfied with the outcome, you can talk to your local union representatives who can guide you through the grievance process.
  • If your union is not willing or able to assist you, contact CIJA for assistance.

What steps should I take if I am disciplined or terminated from my job because of my support for Israel?

  • File a grievance with your local union in accordance with the provisions of your collective bargaining agreement.
  • Contact your local union for information about the grievance process.
  • You may be able file a human rights complaint against your employer. CIJA can assist you with this process.

What should I do if my union refuses to support a grievance because it is related to my support for Israel?

  • If your union refuses to file or support your grievance, or if it does not provide you with adequate representation, you can file a formal complaint against your union (commonly referred to as the duty of fair representation) with the relevant labour relations board.
  • Contact CIJA for support.
  • You may be able to file a human rights complaint against your union.

What can I do if my union, its executives, or representatives are posting antisemitic or anti-Israel content on social media?

  • If the are doing so in their capacity as union representatives or are identifiable as union executives/representatives, you may be able to file a complaint with your union for violation of their code of conduct.
  • While political speech is protected, anti-Israel speech often crosses the line into antisemitism, which would be unlawful. If it is obviously antisemitic, take screenshots and contact HR. If it is a grey area, contact CIJA for advice on whether the content in question is antisemitic.
  • This can be a challenging process if the union has taken an anti-Israel stance. In those cases, contact CIJA for assistance.

What can I do if I learn about antisemitic comment or conduct by a coworker outside of the workplace?

  • Very little can be done about a private post (unless it contains defamatory or criminal content). If the post is public and if the employee identifies as being an employee of the organization, they could possibly be the subject of discipline (offduty conduct).  Take screenshots and contact HR.

Can I withdraw from my union due to their political stance or support for causes I do not agree with?

  • Depending on which province or jurisdiction you are based in, you may be able to withdraw from the union, however you will still be responsible for paying union dues.

Can I choose not to pay union dues/membership to my union due to their political stance or support for causes I do not agree with?

  • The only instance where you can refuse to pay union dues are in relation to a sincere belief that your religious observance does not permit belonging to a union or paying dues.

Questions, comments, or concerns?

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