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British Columbia Workplace Violence and Harassment Laws – Bill 14

Here is the British Columbia (BC) law on workplace violence.  BC legislation on bullying includes:

Relevant Statutes:

Workers Compensation Act, S.B.C. 2002, c. 56; Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, B.C. Reg. 296/97 [‘OHSR’]
Amendments: Bill 14-2011, Workers Compensation Amendment Act; Bill M 212-2012, Workplace Bullying Prevention Act, 2012 (Amendment to the Workers Compensation Act)

Websites:

http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/96492_00
OHSR: http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/LOC/freeside/–%20W
Bill 14-2011, Workplace Compensation Amendment Act: http://www.leg.bc.ca/39th4th/3rd_read/gov14-3.htm
Bill M 212-2012, Workplace Bullying Prevention Act: http://www.leg.bc.ca/39th4th/1st_read/m212-1.htm
Government of B.C.: http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/
WorkSafe B.C.: http://www.worksafebc.com/
B.C. Human Rights Tribunal: http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/

Workplace Violence Definition

“attempted or actual exercise of physical force by a person, other than a worker, so as to cause injury to a worker and includes any threatening statement or behaviour which causes a worker to reasonably believe he or she is at risk of injury.” (OHSR, 4.27)

Workplace Harassment Definition:

“any conduct, comment, display, action, or gesture that a) adversely affects a worker’s psychological or physical well-being, or b) the actor knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause a worker to be humiliated or intimidated; harassment includes the act of intentionally causing harm through verbal harassment, intimidation or other more subtle methods of coercion, such as manipulation, including ignoring and isolating a person. For great certainty, harassment may occur in the absence of any intent to harm, humiliate, intimidate or otherwise harass a worker.”  (Workers Compensation Act, s. 117.1)

Workplace Harassment (compensation)

“a worker is entitled to compensation for a mental disorder that does not result from an injury for which the worker is otherwise entitled to compensation, only if the mental disorder is a reaction to one or more traumatic events arising out of and in the course of a worker’s employment or is predominantly caused by a significant work-related stressor, including bullying and harassment, or a cumulative series of significant work-related stressors, arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment.” (Workers Compensation Act, s. 5.1)

What is needed to stay complaint:

Employers with 10 or more employees have to:

  • Develop policies and procedures to prevent and respond to bullying and harassment;
  • Provide training and information distinguishing appropriate from inappropriate behavior;
  • Create a policy statement that workplace bullying and harassment are unacceptable and will not be tolerated;
  • Take steps to prevent, or at least minimize, workplace bullying and harassment;
  • Provide ongoing incident reporting and complaint procedures, including special procedures if a supervisor or other person with authority is the alleged bully/harasser to ensure that no retaliation will take place;

Create procedures for dealing with incidents and complaints, including investigation procedures, investigation reporting and appropriate employer follow-up.