Workplace harassment can undermine a person’s dignity. It can prevent workers from doing their jobs effectively. Workplace harassment, left unchecked, has the potential to escalate into violent behaviour. All workers are entitled to a safe and healthy workplace.
Occupational health and safety laws require workplaces to have workplace harassment policies and programs.
A policy is the employer’s commitment to protect workers from the hazard of harassment. A program is the actions the employer will implement to support the policy. Both should be in writing and posted in a conspicuous location so that they are available to all workers.
The program should be developed together with the Joint Health and Safety Committee, Health, Safety Representative or other worker(s) as per applicable occupational health and safety requirements. It should be reviewed annually or as often as necessary (i.e. after an incident).
Workers should receive training and instruction on the policy and program.
The Sample Policy, Program and Complaint Form are based on the requirements found in the regulations in Alberta and Ontario.
The Sample Policy, Program and Complaint Form meet all the requirements in these jurisdictions. Because the laws in Alberta and Ontario were updated in 2018 and 2016 respectively, it is likely that the Samples and Form will meet most or all criteria in other jurisdictions.
It is recommended to workplaces in other jurisdiction that they review applicable legislation to be sure that all requirements are met.