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Schedule A: Workplace Harassment Provisions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act

Definition

Section 1 (1):

“workplace harassment” means,

  • (a) engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or
  • (b) workplace sexual harassment;

“workplace sexual harassment” means,

  • (a) engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or
  • (b) making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome;

(4) A reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the workplace is not workplace harassment.

Policy

32.0.1 (1) An employer shall,

  • (b) prepare a policy with respect to workplace harassment; and
  • (c) review the policies as often as is necessary, but at least annually.

(2) The policies shall be in written form and shall be posted at a conspicuous place in the workplace.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the number of workers regularly employed at the workplace is five or fewer, unless an inspector orders otherwise.

Program, harassment

32.0.6 (1) An employer shall, in consultation with the committee or a health and safety representative, if any, develop and maintain a written program to implement the policy with respect to workplace harassment required under clause 32.0.1 (1) (b).

  • (2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the program shall,
    • (a) include measures and procedures for workers to report incidents of workplace harassment to the employer or supervisor;
    • (b) include measures and procedures for workers to report incidents of workplace harassment to a person other than the employer or supervisor, if the employer or supervisor is the alleged harasser;
    • (c) set out how incidents or complaints of workplace harassment will be investigated and dealt with;
    • (d) set out how information obtained about an incident or complaint of workplace harassment, including identifying information about any individuals involved, will not be disclosed unless the 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;
    • (e) set out how a worker who has allegedly experienced workplace harassment and the alleged harasser, if he or she is a worker of the employer, will be informed of the results of the investigation and of any corrective action that has been taken or that will be taken as a result of the investigation; and
    • (f) include any prescribed elements.

Employer duties

32.0.7 (1) To protect a worker from workplace harassment, an employer shall ensure that,

  • (a) an investigation is conducted into incidents and complaints of workplace harassment that is appropriate in the circumstances;
  • (b) the worker who has allegedly experienced workplace harassment and the alleged harasser, if he or she is a worker of the employer, are informed in writing of the results of the investigation and of any corrective action that has been taken or that will be taken as a result of the investigation;
  • (c) the program developed under section 32.0.6 is reviewed as often as necessary, but at least annually, to ensure that it adequately implements the policy with respect to workplace harassment required under clause 32.0.1 (1) (b); and
  • (d) such other duties as may be prescribed are carried out.

Results of investigation not a report

(2) The results of an investigation under clause (1) (a), and any report created in the course of or for the purposes of the investigation, are not a report respecting occupational health and safety for the purposes of subsection 25 (2).

Information and instruction, harassment

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; and
  • (b) any other prescribed information.

Order for workplace harassment investigation

55.3 (1) An inspector may in writing order an employer to cause an investigation described in clause 32.0.7 (1) (a) to be conducted, at the expense of the employer, by an impartial person possessing such knowledge, experience or qualifications as are specified by the inspector and to obtain, at the expense of the employer, a written report by that person.

Report

(2) A report described in subsection (1) is not a report respecting occupational health and safety for the purposes of subsection 25 (2).

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