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Workplace Bullying & Harassment Legislation/Policies by Province

Canada Labour Code

(Jan 2021) PART II – Occupational Health and Safety, Section 122(1) Interpretation, Definitions/Purpose:

“Harassment and violence means any action, conduct or comment, including of a sexual nature, that can reasonably be expected to cause offence, humiliation or other physical or psychological injury or illness to an employee, including any prescribed action, conduct or comment. The purpose of this Part is to prevent accidents, occurrences of harassment and violence and physical or psychological injuries and illnesses arising out of, linked with or occurring in the course of employment to which this Part applies.”

Legislative & Government Bills/Acts/Policies are listed below for each province and territory. All items in green are clickable links to the related website.

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Occupational Health & Safety (Protection from Workplace Harassment) Amendment Act 2016

  • Amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act to include a specific definition of psychological violence and add prohibitions for psychological harassment and violence in the workplace.

Occupational Health & Safety Act, Statutes of Alberta, 2017, Chapter O-2.1 (Current as of Dec 2020)

  • The OHS Act sets out the framework for health and safety in Alberta’s workplaces.
  • Harassment and violence are defined as workplace hazards, and employer responsibilities are outlined.

Occupational Health & Safety Code – Part 27, Violence & Harassment (Current as of Aug 2020)

  • Explains what is required under the Alberta OHS legislation as it relates to harassment and violence in the workplace.
  • OHS Harassment and Violence in the Workplace Fact Sheet

Workers’ Compensation Board-Alberta, Policy 03-01 Psychiatric or Psychological Injury (Effective Jan 2021)

  • Outlines policy on psychological injury, including definitions of workplace bullying or harassment.
  • Aids in determining whether a psychiatric or psychological injury is compensable.
  • Assists employee with claims process and possible treatment sponsorship.
  • WCB Bullying & Harassment in the Workplace Fact Sheet-Worker & Fact Sheet-Employer

Alberta Human Rights Act, Revised Statutes of Alberta 2000, Chapter A-25.5 (Current as of June 2018)

  • If the workplace bullying is focused on gender, ethnicity, disability, age, religion or marital status, you may be protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act.

BILL M203 – 2013, WORKPLACE BULLYING PREVENTION ACT, 2013

  • This bill targets the reduction and elimination of workplace bullying by modifying the Worker’s Compensation Act. The bill allows incidents of workplace harassment to be investigated, compensated, and dealt with in the same manner as workplace accidents. It provides less strenuous requirements for the award of compensation for mental stress in situations that involve harassment. It also requires employers of 10 more employees to write and implement a policy on harassment.

Workers Compensation Act, OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATION, B.C. Reg. 296/97 (July 2020)

  • Definitions of appropriate work conduct and violence in the workplace.

BC Workers Compensation Act, Part 4 — Compensation to Injured Workers and Their Dependents (April 2020)

  • Division 1 — Compensation for Injury, Mental Disorder and Occupational Disease, Section 135(a)(ii), states compensation may be available for a mental disorder “predominantly caused by a significant work-related stressor, including bullying or harassment, or a cumulative series of significant work-related stressors, arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment.”

WorkSafeBC Prevention Manual, Part II, Div 4, P2-23-2 Supervisor Duties – Workplace Bullying and Harassment (April 2020)

  • Bullying and harassment are defined as workplace hazards, and employer responsibilities are outlined.
  • WorkSafeBC Bullying & Harassment Resource Toolkit – to help employers and workers to understand their legal duties and to prevent and address bullying and harassment in the workplace.

Legislative Bill 219, The Workplace Safety & Health Amendment Act, Harassment & Violence in The Workplace (Jan 2011)

  • Harassment and violence are defined as workplace hazards, and employer responsibilities are outlined.

C.C.S.M. c. W210, The Workplace Safety and Health Act (May 2021)

  • The objects and purposes of this Act are to secure workers and self-employed persons from risks to their safety, health and welfare arising out of, or in connection with, activities in their workplaces; and the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers.

Civil Service Commission, 3.1.4 Respectful Workplace Policy: Addressing and Preventing Sexual Harassment, Harassment and Bullying (March 2019)

  • Outlines policy and process entitling every employee to work in an environment that is respectful and free of all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment and bullying. Includes specific definitions pertaining to bullying.

Workplace Safety and Health Regulation, Man Reg 217/2006 (July 2020)

  • Outlines all issues around workplace safety and health regulations, including harassment (Part 10) and violence (Part 11).

Manitoba Human Rights Code (Current as of June 2021)

  • If bullying behaviour is based on one of the protected grounds such as religion, sex, disability, ethnic background, or sexual orientation, a human rights complaint may be filed under harassment

Safe Work Manitoba Bulletin 275: Preventing Workplace Harassment (July 2019)

  • Harassment is objectionable conduct that creates a risk to the health of a worker or severe conduct that adversely affects a worker’s psychological health or physical well-being.

New Brunswick Regulation 2018-82 Occupational Health and Safety Act (April 2019)

  • Protects New Brunswick workers from a wide range of violence and harassment hazards and require all workplaces in the province to develop a code of practice to prevent harassment in the workplace.
  • The new Regulations add a definition of “harassment” in a place of employment: any objectionable or offensive behavior that’s known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, including bullying or any other conduct, comment or display; made on either a one-time or repeated basis; that threatens the health or safety of an employee.

WorkplaceNL Harassment Prevention Plan & Guide (Oct 2019)

  • Defines workplace harassment, including “Physical or psychological bullying which creates fear or mistrust, or which ridicules or devalues the individual.”

Newfoundland and Labrador Regulation 5/12, Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2012 under the
Occupational Health and Safety Act (Amended Jan 2020)

  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations require employers to develop, implement and maintain a written harassment prevention plan to address workplace harassment.

NTN Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission Harassment Code of Practice (March 2019)

  • In accordance with subsections 18(3) and 18(4) of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Safety Acts and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
  • Includes definition and examples of Personal harassment “(sometimes referred to as bullying) to include any inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or gesture by a person that: adversely affects a worker’s psychological or physical well-being; and that the perpetrator knows or ought to reasonably know would cause the worker to be humiliated or intimidated.”

Nova Scotia Respectful Workplace Policy (effective July 2020)

  • Includes definition of workplace bullying as a form of harassment: “Typically, it is a repeated, targeted pattern of behaviour that is intended to, or ought to reasonably be known to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other forms of harm. The impact may be physical or mental, damaging a person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, reputation or property.”

Work Safe. For Life. Workers’ Compensation Board for Nova Scotia – Psychologically Healthy Workplaces Initiative

  • Program/tools for workplaces to implement and foster psychologically healthy workplaces, including: “Psychological protection from violence, bullying and harassment.”

Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1 (current as of July 2020)

  • Workplace harassment includes, but is not limited to: offensive comments or jokes; bullying or aggressive behaviour; inappropriate staring; sexual harassment; isolating or making fun of a worker because of their gender identity.

Ministry of Labour Code of Practice to Address Workplace Harassment Under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (August 2016)

  • An employer is required to prepare a workplace harassment policy under the OHSA. In addition to including the definition of workplace harassment as defined by the OHSA in its policy, an employer may include the following behaviours as examples of workplace harassment: bullying or aggressive behaviour
  • Employers also have a general duty to protect workers from risks on the job, including physical and mental harm, according to Ontario’s Ministry of Labour.

Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c. 16, Sched. A (April 2019)

  • “Employees may be eligible for support from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board if they have experienced a mental stress injury that can be shown to have resulted either from a traumatic incident or series of incidents at work that are substantial stressors, including: being subjected to bullying, a common form of harassment that includes behaviour such as intimidation, malicious rumours, gossip, or innuendo, social isolation or, coercion, humiliation, persistent insults, slurs and/or derogatory names.”

PEI Occupational Health & Safety Act: Workplace Harassment Regulations (current as of July 2020)

  • Defines workplace harassment to include any inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or gesture or any bullying that the person responsible for the conduct, comment, display, action or gesture or the bullying knows, or ought reasonably to know, could have a harmful effect on a worker’s psychological or physical health or safety.

Workers Compensation Board of PEI Guide to Workplace Harassment Regulations

  • Definitions, processes and tools based on workplace harassment regulations above.

Quebec Labour Standards Act, CQLR c. N-1.1 Chapter IV, Division V.2 Psychological Harassment, Sections 81.18 to 81.20 (current as of Jan 2021)

  • In effect since June 2004, to protect all workers from workplace bullying and defines psychological harassment. “Every employee has a right to a work environment free from psychological harassment.” Employers must take “reasonable action” to prevent it and must put a stop to it when they become aware of such behaviour.

Saskatchewan Occupational Health and Safety (Harassment Prevention) Amendment Act, 2007

  • The act broadened the definition of workplace harassment to include psychological harassment.

The Saskatchewan Employment Act (April 2014)

  • Outlines the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees to ensure Saskatchewan workplaces are free of harassment, including “personal harassment, sometimes referred to as bullying. It includes any inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or gesture by a person that: adversely affects a worker’s psychological or physical well-being; the perpetrator knows, or should know, would cause the worker to be humiliated or intimidated; and constitutes a threat to the health and safety of a worker.”

Yukon Regulation to Amend the Occupational Health & Safety Regulations (will take effect Sept 2021)

  • “The Yukon government is updating the language in territorial regulations that instruct employers on how to prevent violence and harassment at work. Under the new regulations, the definition of workplace hazards now includes violence or harassment. Harassment also gets an updated definition that includes bullying or unwelcome comments that are workplace or work-related and adversely affects the worker’s physical or psychological well-being or constitutes a threat to the worker’s health and safety.”
  • The OH&S Regulations in effect until Sept 2021 (and the amended document after that time) can be found here.