Workplace Harassment and Sexual Harassment
Effective September 8, 2016, employers have new obligations (Bill 132 – OHSA) with respect to the prevention, training, investigation and resolution of workplace harassment issues, particularly workplace sexual harassment. “Workplace sexual harassment” is now specifically defined in the OHSA.
Bill 132 requires that employers, in consultation with the health and safety committee:
- implement a specific written policy in the workplace;
- develop a workplace harassment program; and
- provide adequate training and instruction on the policy and program
The policy must :
- be prepared by the employer, posted in a conspicuous place in the workplace, and
reviewed by the employer as often as necessary but at least annually;
- define harassment and sexual harassment as they appear in OHSA;
- include statements about the employer’s commitment to addressing workplace
harassment, that the policy applies to all workers and addresses all sources of harassment, and that reasonable management is not harassment; and
- state that the employer will investigate incidents/complaints of harassment and will not penalize or reprise against an employee who reports harassment or participates in an investigation.
The program must :
- be developed and maintained in consultation with the occupational health and safety committee or representative;
- include measures and procedures for workers to report incidents /complaints of workplace harassment to a person other than the employer or supervisor, if the employer or supervisor is the alleged harasser;
- set out how incidents /complaints of harassment will be investigated and dealt with;
- set out how information obtained about an incident /complaint of workplace harassment,
including identifying information about any individuals involved, will not be disclosed unless disclosure is necessary for the purposes of investigating or taking corrective action with respect to the incident or complaint, or is otherwise required by law; and
- set out that a worker who has allegedly experienced harassment and the alleged harasser, if he or she is a worker of the employer, will be informed in writing of the results of the investigation and any corrective action that has been or will be taken as a result of the investigation.