As lawyer Norm Keith at Fasken Martineau notes, the big change in the workplace is that as of July 1, the definition of “workplace harassment” in s.1 (1) of the OHSA will include “workplace sexual harassment.”
“It’s now defined as ‘engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,” he said. “This is where this behaviour is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Changes to the act also include making “sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.” ”
“The mandatory requirement for an ‘independent/outside’ investigator is a slap in the face to all Ontario employers who have conducted internal investigations fairly and objectively and will only serve to make the process slower, more complex, and more expensive for Ontario employers,” he says.
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