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Ontario Workplace Violence Legislation – Bill 168

Workplace violence legislation in Ontario is generally nicknamed as Bill 168, which is an addition to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Here is a brief review of the Ontario Workplace Violence Legislation – Bill 168:

Relevant Statutes: Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1 [‘OHSA’]
Amendment: Bill 168-2009, An Act to Amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act, c. 23

Websites: OHSA: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90o01_e.htm
Bill 168: http://www.ontla.on.ca/bills/bills-files/39_Parliament/Session1/b168ra.pdf
Ministry of Labour: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board: http://www.wsib.on.ca/en/community/WSIB
Ontario Human Rights Commission: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en

Workplace violence is defined as:

“1) The exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker;

2) An attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker, or

3) A statement or behaviour that is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.” (OHSA, s. 1)

Workplace Harassment Definition:

Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.(OHSA, s. 1)

Domestic Violence Definition:

“If an employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that domestic violence that would likely expose a worker to physical injury may occur in the workplace, the employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”

What is needed to stay compliant:

Organizations with 5 or more employees are required by law to

  • Conduct a yearly assessment
  • Create a clear and detailed policy that has been distributed to all employees
  • Provide training on workplace violence prevention
  • Maintain an incident reporting mechanism that ensures no retaliation
  • Report incidences where domestic violence is suspected, even if the spouse is not employed by the organization