We recently wrote about new requirements for employers to implement comprehensive policies, programs, and investigative procedures to address workplace harassment under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) ‒ see our blog post here. Failing to comply with the OHSA can result in a substantial fine. Employees now also have a green light to bring a civil action in relation to workplace harassment as a result of a recent decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
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Last month, key elements of Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016 (“Bill 132”), came into force. Employers are now required to have comprehensive policies and programs in place to address workplace harassment, along with detailed investigative procedures to be followed in response to complaints or incidents of harassment.

The latter requirement has led many employers to ask whether investigating is enough or if the employer can still be liable if the investigator gets it wrong.
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Key elements of Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016 (“Bill 132”) come into force today, amending the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”). As a result, employers are required to implement comprehensive policies, programs, and investigative procedures to address workplace harassment. Bill 132 also expands the definition of “workplace harassment” to include “workplace sexual harassment”.
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Ontario Legislature Passes Bill 132: What Employers Need to Know

Bill 132 will increase the obligations on employers to protect employees against workplace harassment. The Ontario Government recently passed Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015 and employers will need to comply with its requirements as of September 8, 2016.


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New legislation aimed at addressing sexual violence and harassment in Ontario received Royal Assent on March 8, 2016.

The Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015 (the “Act”) is part of the Ontario government’s action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment. The Act was first introduced by the Ontario Legislature as Bill 132 on October 27, 2015. Click here for a link to our earlier blog post on Bill 132.

The Act introduces amendments to various statutes which will come into force in the coming months. The amendments are intended to bolster the protection of students and employees, among other objectives.

Colleges and universities will have new obligations placed upon them as of January 1, 2017. Employers will be subject to the new obligations as of September 8, 2016. Below are the key amendments.


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It could be a blizzard, a hurricane or a torrential downpour. The fact of the matter is that Mother Nature can, and will, strike; and, no matter what form it comes in, severe weather imposes challenges upon businesses of all sizes. When faced with issues like slippery or flooded roads, it can be tough to balance the needs of a business with the safety of its employees.

We often get questions from employers who are staring into the face of the proverbial tornado and trying to understand their rights and obligations. This blog will address four of the most commonly asked questions.
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Under British Columbia’s Workers Compensation Act (“Act”) an employer must immediately notify WorkSafeBC of a workplace accident that (among other things):

  • results in serious injury or death to a worker
  • involves a major structural failure or collapse
  • involves the major release of a hazardous substance

When such accidents occur, the scene of the accident must not be disturbed until an investigation has taken place.

At first glance the “reporting requirement” is clear. But in practice it can give rise to uncertainty. For example, if the worksite is not owned by the employer, must the owner report? And who is responsible for reporting incidents when there are multiple employers on a single worksite?
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On July 16, 2014, the Ontario Government introduced  Bill 18, Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014.  The Bill proposes changes that would (among other things) remove existing limits on unpaid wage claims, make temporary help agencies and their clients jointly liable for unpaid wages, and impose automatic adjustments to minimum wage based on the Consumer Price Index.
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Under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”), employers are required to immediately report to the Ministry of Labour (“Ministry”) all incidents that involve critical injuries or fatalities “from any cause at a workplace”. A written report must also be filed within forty-eight hours after the incident occurs, and the scene of the incident must not be disturbed or altered until an inspector has granted permission to do so.
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