Violence and harassment is an unfortunate reality of society – and of the workplace. Since April 1, 2019 (when New Brunswick’s new workplace anti-violence and harassment regulations took effect) every Canadian province and territory has an occupational health and safety regulatory scheme dealing specifically with workplace violence.
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.
Under Canadian Occupational Health and Safety legislation, employers are obligated to take all reasonable steps to maintain a safe work environment. In many Provinces (e.g., Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta) as well as the Federal jurisdiction, employers are statutorily obligated to put in place a workplace violence prevention and intervention program (i.e., measures and procedures designed to mitigate the risk of harm from work-related violence)...