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Is Preventing Workplace Harassment an OHS Duty?


We all understand that harassment is bad and that when it’s based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference, disability, etc., it becomes a form of employment discrimination banned by the human rights laws. What’s less well understood is how harassment is regulated under OHS laws. Thanks to recent legal trends, workplace harassment under OHS laws is becoming a pretty important issue across the country.
What the OHS Laws Require
As with the duty to protect employees from violence, the duty to protect workers from harassment is now an obligation under the OHS laws of all jurisdictions. Where do the laws say this? There are 2 possibilities:

Specific Duty Jurisdictions:  The OHS laws of at least 3 provinces—Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan—specifically require employers to take steps to assess and minimize the risk of harassment in the workplace. Manitoba defines “harassment” more narrowly than Saskatchewan as “any objectionable conduct, comment or display by a person that:


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