PSHSA quickly responded to Bill 132 taking a lead role in developing eLearning, webinars and consulting tools geared to help employers understand resulting changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Bill 132 amends various existing OHSA statues with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment and domestic violence. As a result, we have been working with employers to update their workplace harassment policies, programs and investigation procedures.
All employees are entitled to a safe and healthy workplace, free from sexual violence and harassment. Sexual harassment in the workplace can undermine dignity. It can prevent people from doing their jobs effectively, keep them from reaching full potential, and compromise their ability to earn a living. This harassment, left unchecked, also has the potential to escalate into violent behaviour.
Workers in Ontario deserve safer Workplaces, so the following steps have been taken:
- The introduction of legislation to strengthen the Occupational Health and Safety Act to include a definition of sexual harassment. The legislation includes requirements for employers to investigate and address workplace harassment, including sexual harassment complaints, and includes an obligation for employers to make every reasonable effort to protect workers.
- The creation of a new Code of Practice for employers under the Act with steps employers can take to comply with the law and assist employers in making their workplaces safer.
- A special enforcement team of inspectors trained to address complaints of workplace harassment, including sexual harassment, and enforce the Act’s harassment provisions.
- The development of educational materials to help employers create a safer workplace.