Although the concept of psychological and sexual harassment in the workplace has been around for quite some time, it still remains a hot topic. It has generated a lot of attention especially since the introduction of article 81.18 of the Act respecting labour standards which has provided a definition of psychological harassment by indicating its criteria.
In Cho v. Café La Foret Ltd., 2022 BCSC 1560, Justice Shergill had a situation where a 60 year old Head Baker in a Korean bakery was found to have inappropriately touched a 20 year old subordinate on the shoulder, arm and buttocks.
In Render v ThyssenKrupp Elevator (Canada) Limited Group, the Ontario Court of Appeal clarified the threshold to establish willful misconduct under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 and provided guidance on how sexual harassment should be assessed in the workplace. Importantly, the Court found that while a single incident of inappropriate touching did not amount to willful misconduct as it was not preplanned, the employee's dismissal for cause was a proportionate response.