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March 29 2016

Workplace Violence & Harassment Under Bill 168: A 5-Year Review

It has now been just over five years since Bill 168, now known as Part III.0.1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario) (OHSA or the Act), amended the OHSA on June 15, 2010.
As Ontario employers are now generally aware, the amendments required employers to establish workplace violence and harassment policies, develop programs to implement those policies and provide employees with information regarding these policies and programs.
The purpose of this paper is to review the arbitral, common law and tribunal jurisprudence that has since emerged interpreting the amendments to the OHSA. The paper begins with a summary of Kingston (City) v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 109 (Hudson Grievance), followed by a review of the recent Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB or the Board) decision in Hydro One Inc. v. CUSW.
The paper also includes a note on Bill 132, which is the Ontario government's proposed new legislation dealing with amendments to various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and other related matters and lessons and takeaways for employers that can be drawn from the case law.