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Part IV: Providing Information and Instruction on a Workplace Harassment Policy and Program

General information

Providing information and instruction to workers on the employer’s workplace harassment policy and program, including how to report workplace harassment, is an important step to help protect workers.

The employer must provide information and instruction on what conduct is considered workplace harassment, including workplace sexual harassment. Providing training assists workers in knowing what conduct is unwelcome in the workplace.

Supervisors also need to receive specific instruction and information on how to recognize and handle a workplace harassment incident so that workplace harassment does not go unaddressed. Workplace harassment that is not addressed may escalate into workplace violence.

Documentation of the information and instruction provided to workers should be kept by the employer for at least one year.

Provision(s)

Occupational Health and Safety Act, s. 32.0.8

An employer shall provide a worker with,

  • (a) information and instruction that is appropriate for the worker on the contents of the policy and program with respect to workplace harassment;

Practice

To comply with this Part of the Code of Practice, an employer must provide all workers with information and instruction on the contents of the employer’s workplace harassment policy and program. Workers must be instructed on:

  • what conduct is considered workplace harassment, including workplace sexual harassment, and how to recognize it;
  • how and to whom to report an incident of workplace harassment;
  • how the employer will investigate and deal with an incident or complaint of workplace harassment; and
  • how the employer will report the results of the investigation to the worker who allegedly experienced workplace harassment and the alleged harasser, if the alleged harasser is a worker of the employer.

All workers, as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), must be provided with information and instruction on the contents of the employer’s workplace harassment policy and program including, but not limited to, regular workers, new hires, contract, casual, temporary, part-time and student workers.

If there are substantial changes to the policy or program, the employer must ensure that workers are informed of the changes and instruction must be provided.

Workers must receive information and instruction in a manner and language that they would reasonably understand.

Supervisors and managers must be provided with additional information and instruction, on how to recognize workplace harassment and how to handle a complaint of workplace harassment.

Investigators whether a manager, supervisor, human resource representative or a person designated by the employer, must receive information and instruction on how to conduct an investigation appropriate in the circumstances, including not to disclose identifying information unless it is necessary to conduct the investigation, take corrective action or otherwise required by law.

Joint health and safety committee or health and safety representatives (if any) must receive information and instruction on the employer’s workplace harassment program including how to help a worker report an incident of workplace harassment and resources available to a worker who has allegedly experienced harassment.

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