As of September 08, 2016 Bill 132 is in full effect. Non compliance can carry with it, fines up to $500,000.00
How Bill 132 expands the definition of workplace harassment
Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), introduced through Bill 132, make it mandatory for Ontario employers with five or more employees to provide instruction and training on how to manage workplace harassment, which is now defined to include two behaviors:
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
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.
Requirements to implement a new workplace harassment policy
Include measures and procedures for workers to report workplace harassment to a person other than the employer or supervisor if the employer or supervisor is the alleged harasser
Set out how information obtained during the investigation, including identifying information about any individuals involved, will not be disclosed unless necessary for the purpose of investigating or taking corrective action or otherwise as required by law
Set out how a worker who has allegedly experienced workplace harassment and the alleged harasser, if a worker of the employer, will be informed in writing of the results of investigation and any action taken or to be taken as a result of the investigation
Implementing a Written Program is mandatory
Bill 132 requires employers to develop a written program that implements the employer’s workplace harassment policy. This program must be reviewed annually. Here is the specific wording in the bill:
“The written program must describe, among other requirements: (1) measures and procedures for employees to report incidents of workplace harassment to a person other than the employer or supervisor, if the employer or supervisor is the alleged harasser; (2) how incidents or complaints of workplace harassment will be investigated and dealt with; (3) confidentiality assurances, unless the disclosure is necessary for investigating or taking corrective action, or by law; and (4) the manner in which the complainant and the alleged harasser (if s/he is an employee of the employer) will be informed of the results of the investigation and of any corrective action that has been, or will be, taken.
“Employers must also provide employees with appropriate information and instruction on the contents of their workplace harassment policies and written program.
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