Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Bill 132: Significant Changes To The Laws In Ontario That Employers Need To Know Regarding Sexual Violence And Harassment In The Workplace - MONDAQ

by Sheryl L. Johnson
Originally published: April 4, 2017

On March 8, 2016 Bill 132: An Act to amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and related matters received Royal Assent. Specifically, six separate acts set out in the six schedules to Bill 132 have been amended.

With such assent, significant changes that every provincially regulated employer in Ontario needs to be aware of have come into force with retroactive effectiveness.

Significantly to most Ontario employers is the fact that Bill 132 effects important changes to:

  1. Employer's duties and obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act ("OHSA");
  2. Inspectors' powers under the OHSA; and
  3.   The certainty that once existed concerning limitation periods applicable to workplace issues involving sexual assault or "misconduct of a sexual nature" or if the relationship between the person with the claim" (read "Complainant") "and the person who committed the misconduct" (read "Respondent" or "Alleged Harasser") is one where: (i) the Respondent is in a position of trust or authority in relation to the Complainant; and (ii) the Complainant is financially or otherwise dependent on the Respondent given changes to the Limitations Act.