Workplace Violence And Harassment Legislation Passed In Ontario
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April 27, 2010
Bill 168, An Act to Amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act With Respect to Violence and Harassment in the Workplace and Other Matters (“Bill 168”) received Royal Assent on December 15, 2009 and will come into force on June 15, 2010. The Bill can be viewed on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website at: Bill 168
Employers should start preparing now to ensure that they are compliant with the requirements of this new legislation by June 15, 2010. Highlighted below are some of the more significant changes arising under this new legislation. Please note, this article is only a general summary of the new law and employers should consult with their legal advisors on the specific requirements applicable to each workplace.
- All workplaces are required to have policies in place which address workplace violence and workplace harassment
- These policies must be posted in workplaces having more than five (5) employees
- The employer will also be responsible for reviewing these policies annually
- Employers must development and implement a program to implement these policies including:
- measures and procedures to control the risks identified in the assessment as likely to expose a worker to physical injury
- measures and procedures for summoning immediate assistance when workplace violence occurs or is likely to occur
- measures and procedures for workers to report incidents of workplace violence or harassment to the employer or supervisor
- a procedure setting out how the employer will investigate and deal with incidents or complaints of workplace violence or harassment
- the amendments include a specific provision dealing with domestic violence in the workplace and the employer’s obligation to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker if it becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that domestic violence would likely expose a worker to physical injury which may occur in the workplace
- the amendments extend the work refusal section of the Act to give worker’s a right to refuse work if workplace violence is likely to endanger the worker
For any questions or for assistance in understanding and complying with these requirements please contact us.