First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

Combatting sexual harassment in the workplace: Formal measures required by September 2016

sexual-harassment 2Employers required to have new and updated workplace harassment policies, procedures and training in place by September 8, 2016.

As we wrote about late last year, the Government of Ontario has moved forward with its plan to address sexual violence and harassment. Last week, Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015, received Royal Assent.

While Bill 132 amends various legislation, employers should pay particular attention to the changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act which aim to bolster employee protection from workplace harassment. These changes impose a September 8, 2016 deadline on employers that requires them to address the following:

  • Review (and if necessary, amend) their workplace harassment policy to ensure it includes workplace sexual harassment;
  • Investigate incidents and complaints of workplace harassment;
  • Inform the parties to a workplace harassment complaint of the results of the investigation and any corrective action that will occur; and
  • Involve the Joint Health and Safety Committee in developing written programs and procedures, regarding workplace harassment, which address:
    • the reporting of incidents;
    • the investigation process;
    • how the investigation information will be kept confidential, except for the purposes of taking corrective action or required by law;
    • training under the programs and procedures; and
    • an annual review of the programs and procedures.

While the deadline for employers to act may be six months away, the post-Labour Day deadline may require employers to act as soon as possible to account for summer vacations.

By Matthew Demeo

Follow me

Employer Advisor, McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Employment and labour lawyers at McCarthy Tétrault LLP
McCarthy Tétrault through their Employer Advisor blogs offers their perspectives on the latest legal developments applicable to the workplace. It provides their insights on legislative and regulatory developments, as well as new case law, while providing practical tips for employers and their human resources professionals when managing the workforce. McCarthy Tétrault is a Canadian law firm that delivers integrated business law, litigation services, tax law, real property law, labour and employment law nationally and globally. Several of their blog posts will be republished with permission on First Reference Talks. Read more
Follow me
Kindle

, , , , , , , ,

Comments are currently closed.

One thought on “Combatting sexual harassment in the workplace: Formal measures required by September 2016
  • John says:

    I find it very strange that Bill 132 seems to require a written program for workplace harassment by all employers, even though a written policy is required only for employers with more than 5 employees.
    Am I reading new section replacing OHSA 32.0.6 (1) properly?