Companies have had almost 3 years to implement violence and harassment prevention in the workplace provisions under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act , OHSA (also known as Bill 168). Like other items in the OHSA, obligations on employers to prevent workplace violence and harassment with written policies and programs require ongoing commitment, training, and review. A few highlights of some of the requirements that employers with five or more employees must demonstrate include:
The Ontario Labour Relations Board has recently found a Company to be in breach of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to comply with its duties under the workplace violence and harassment provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (section 32) (formerly Bill 168).
A recent decision rendered by an Ontario Arbitrator raises questions about the hard line that seemed to have been taken by adjudicators as a result of An Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act with respect to violence and harassment in the workplace and other matters (formerly Bill 168), which amended the Occupational Health & Safety Act in order to address workplace violence and harassment.
Ontario’s recently enacted workplace violence amendment places a legal onus on provincially regulated employers to safeguard employees from the risk of domestic violence in the workplace. Additional jurisdictions are likely to follow suit. In legal terms, domestic violence is increasingly becoming a foreseeable workplace risk. In moral terms, inaction on this growing workplace issue would introduce unacceptable human risk.
Imagine a situation where your employee is seriously injured by an outside party…
Despite the fact that a significant majority of Canadian organizations are legally obligated to conduct workplace violence risk assessments, it appears that uncertainty and inconsistency are commonplace when it comes to the actual conduct of the assessment. This month, we will take a closer look at workplace violence risk assessments: what they are, what they aren’t, common pitfalls in conducting them and some best practice considerations from the available literature.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board has provided what some believe to be the most significant legal interpretation yet of workplace harassment and employer reprisal in the context of the recently enacted Bill 168 amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The case, Conforti v. Investia Financial Services Inc., 2011, was decided on September 23, 2011.
“Excessive claims of workplace harassment are a sign that our society has become far too sensitive and it really needs to stop.” This is the message I received from workshop participants this week during a group discussion on the topic of the prevention of workplace harassment and discrimination. But is it true?
“I am at a party on my day off and a coworker hurls racial insults at me or makes sexual suggestive comments to me.” Am I protected by my employer’s harassment and discrimination policy? Likewise, if I am the one doing the hurling or suggestive commenting, am I subject to discipline under my employer’s policies?
Employers must now treat verbal threats as serious offences under the OHSA’s definition of workplace violence
A recent labour arbitrator’s decision—to uphold the City of Kingston’s right to terminate a 28-year employee for issuing a verbal threat against a co-worker—was based in large part on the arbitrator’s view that “the classification of threatening language as workplace violence” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act represents a “clear and significant change” to the law in Ontario.
Bill 168, workplace violence and harassment provisions in OHSA – A year in review – Learn the latest
Nearly one year ago, the Ontario government enacted Bill 168, which added workplace violence and harassment provisions to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Many employers were ready, but many are still scrambling to comply, which, among other things, includes developing written policies to address both violence and harassment at work and to review those policies at least once a year.
The Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) requires that when conducting a workplace violence risk assessment you take into account both the nature of your workplace and type of work you perform…
Occupational health and safety law and human rights law both prohibit reprisals, threats and intimidation against a person for exercising their rights. Employers can be liable for stiff financial penalties for permitting this unacceptable behaviour…