New Duties for Ontario Employers Under Ontario Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment
Action Plan ActNew Ontario legislation will require employers to investigate incidents or complaints of harassment or sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers will also need to build on their written harassment program and instruct workers on the program. Employers need to comply with the new requirements as of September 8, 2016.
Snapshot» What has changed? Employers will have further obligations aimed at bolstering the protection of employees from harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace.
» Who does it impact? All employers with one or more workers in Ontario regardless of where the employer is located - with the exception of employers under the federal jurisdiction (such as banks, airlines, telecommunication
companies, interprovincial trucking, shipping, railway and bus companies).
» What do I need to do? Employers will need to investigate incidents or complaints of harassment or sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers will also need to build on their written harassment program and instruct workers on the harassment program.
What You Need To Know - BackgroundThe Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015 (the “Act”) is part of the Ontario government’s action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment.
The Act will amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) and other statutes. The OHSA amendments place further obligations on employers to address workplace harassment and expand workplace harassment to include workplace sexual harassment.
“Workplace sexual harassment” is defined as (a) a course of vexatious and unwelcome comment or conduct against a worker because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, and (b) an unwelcome sexual solicitation or advance by a person in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker.
More to come!