As of September 8, 2016 the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) amended the Occupational Health & Safety Act to include legislation about sexual harassment in the workplace.
Please read the Code of Practice on the Ontario Ministry of Labour's website.
You are required to prepare a workplace harassment policy under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). In addition to including the definition of workplace harassment as defined by the OHSA in its policy, you may include the following behaviours as examples of workplace harassment:
- offensive or intimidating comments or jokes;
- bullying or aggressive behaviour;
- displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials;
- inappropriate staring;
- workplace sexual harassment;
- isolating or making fun of a worker because of gender identity.
Workplace sexual harassment includes unwelcome solicitation or advances from a manager, supervisor or another person who has the power to reward or punish the worker.
PROGRAM & TRAINING
You are required to put a program in place in writing and provide information and instruction to all your workers about harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace. MOL has a good overview of Employer's Responsibilities. This enhances your mandatory compliance regarding Bill 168, Workplace Violence and Harassment.
If you find yourself in a situation where you require an impartial party to take a complaint or investigate a complaint from an employee, please consider getting expert legal advice from a lawyer experienced in employment law or occupational health & safety. It may be prudent to have this resource in place before a complaint is made.