Effective September 8, 2016, Bill 132 will expand the workplace
harassment policy and program requirements under the OHSA. In
addition to revising the definition of workplace harassment to
include workplace sexual harassment, the amendments impose new
duties on employers to ensure an appropriate investigation is
conducted where there is an incident or complaint of harassment,
including sexual harassment, and to inform, in writing, the
involved workplace parties of the investigation's outcome and
any corrective action taken. Bill 132 also expands the powers of
Ministry of Labour inspectors to be able to issue an order
requiring an employer to have a third party conduct an
investigation into a complaint or incident of workplace
In order to comply with the Bill 132 amendments to the OHSA,
employers must revise their policy and program — in
consultation with the joint health and safety committee or the
health and safety representative — to include the
To the extent that it does not have a
written program, develop and maintain a written program to
implement the policy (previously there was no requirement for the
program to be written). The policy and the program can be combined
in one document.
Update the definition of workplace
harassment to include workplace sexual harassment (as defined in
Confirm how incidents or complaints
of harassment will be investigated and dealt with
The procedure for reporting incidents
to the worker's supervisor and to someone other than the
complainant's manager or supervisor, if that person is the
Confirm that information obtained
about an incident or complaint of workplace harassment, including
identifying information about any individuals involved, will not be
disclosed unless the disclosure is necessary for the investigation
or corrective action, or is required by law
Set out a process for how the
complainant and the alleged harasser (if this person is a worker)
will be informed in writing of the investigation's results and
any corrective action. It is important to note that this is not a
report to be posted for purposes of s. 25 of the OHSA, meaning it
does not have to be posted in the workplace.
As with the existing workplace violence and harassment policy
requirements, the policy and program must be reviewed at least
annually and employees must be trained on the new
Performance Management is not Harassment
The Bill 132 amendments also revise the OHSA to include a
provision that confirms that "a reasonable action taken by an
employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of
workers or the workplace is not workplace
harassment" (emphasis added) (OHSA, s. 1(4)).
Although this may seem like an obvious conclusion, it is helpful
to have this point codified in the OHSA, particularly in the face
of these enhanced obligations to protect against and investigate
workplace harassment, including sexual harassment and violence.
Review and Revise before September 2016
Although many employers are already following best practices and
have implemented many elements of the legislation in their current
workplace violence and harassment policies and procedures, it will
be prudent for employers to review current policies and procedures
for compliance with the Bill 132 amendments before September to
avoid any administrative orders for non-compliance or other
enforcement proceedings on behalf of the Ministry of Labour.
Similarly, given the enhanced obligations with respect to
investigating and reporting on the findings of workplace harassment
incidents and complaints, employers will want to ensure compliance
to limit liability in any human rights or wrongful dismissal
proceedings where harassment or sexual harassment are at issue.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Emotional culture is influenced in great part by the mindset and actions of leadership, although employees also play more of a role than they may realize in creating the culture that exists in the group.
The session will be led by Dr. Robert Brooks, an award-winning author and psychologist. In his presentation, Dr. Brooks will describe the mindset and realistic practices of leaders and staff that help to nurture and sustain a culture characterized by positive emotions, satisfying, respectful relationships, a sense of meaning and ownership for one’s work, and enhanced job performance. Examples will be offered to illustrate strategies for developing a positive emotional culture in an organization.
Join leading lawyers from the Blakes Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation group as they discuss recent updates and legal developments in pension and employee benefits law as well as strategies to identify and minimize common risks.
Ready? The company wants its in-house lawyers to be on the front lines, but there is little to no training around how to “look for risk,” let alone how to evaluate it or report it. Our special guest, Sterling Miller, will present simple ideas and processes you can use to spot and identify risk, and demonstrate how to evaluate and manage that risk alongside the business.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).