Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice. She has been practicing law since 1994, with brief stints away to begin raising children. Susan has experience in many areas of law, but is most drawn to areas in which she can make a positive difference in people’s lives, including employment law. She has been a member of the Law Society of Alberta since 1994 and a member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 2015. Susan grew up in Saskatchewan. Her parents were both entrepreneurs, and her father was also a union leader who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of workers. Before moving to B.C., Susan practiced law in both Calgary and Fort McMurray, AB. Living and practicing law in Fort McMurray made a lasting impression on Susan. It was in this isolated and unique community that her interest in employment law, and Canada’s oil sands industry, took hold. In 2013, Susan moved to the Okanagan with her family, where she currently resides. Photo: Contributed

Kootnekoff: New workplace harassment and violence requirements

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years.

New Workplace Harassment & Violence Requirements for Federal Workplaces (Part 1) July 12, 2020

Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, received Royal Assent on October 25, 2018.

Bill C-65 will be force on January 1, 2021. Several requirements are left to be prescribed by regulation.

On June 24, 2020, the federal government published the Work Place Harassment and Violence Regulations (Regulations).

The Regulations contain requirements on federally regulated employers to comply with their obligations under the Canada Labour Code (CLC) harassment and violence prevention provisions. This includes requirements to investigate, record, report and take measures to prevent workplace harassment and violence and to provide certain training to their staff. These requirements are summarized in this article and next week’s article.

Federally regulated employers and workers who may be affected ought to review these provisions closely, as many nuances are included within them.

“Harassment and violence” is defined to mean “any action, conduct or comment, including of a sexual nature, that can reasonably be expected to cause offence, humiliation or other physical or psychological injury or illness to an employee, including any prescribed action, conduct or comment.” This extends beyond sexual harassment and violence.

Under the Regulations, employers must take certain steps jointly with the “applicable partner.” The “applicable partner” is the policy committee, or if there is no such committee then the workplace committee or health and safety representative. If joint agreement is not achieved on any required step, then the employer’s decision prevails. Certain records must be kept regarding this.

The new requirements include:

  • Workplace assessment – An employer and the applicable partner must jointly assess the workplace, identify risk factors and implement preventive measures. Certain factors must be identified. Within six months of identifying the risk factors, the employer and the applicable partner must jointly develop preventive measures that satisfy the requirements, and develop and implement those measures. Employers must also ensure that those it directs to conduct these steps have the training, education or experience to do so.
  • Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy – The employer and the applicable partner must jointly develop a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy. The policy must contain certain items. This includes a summary of the training that will be provided, a summary of the resolution process, a summary of the emergency procedures to be implemented when there is immediate or threatened danger to an employee’s health and safety, how the employer will protect participants’ privacy, a description of the records available to those involved, the support measures available to employees, and the name of the person designated to receive complaints made under s. 127.1(1) of the CLC.
  • Emergency Procedures – The employer and the applicable partner must jointly develop emergency procedures to be implemented if an immediate danger is posed or is threatened to an employee’s health and safety.

The employer must make readily available to employees in printed and electronic form Part II of the CLC, the Regulations, a statement of the employer’s general policy concerning the health and safety at work of employees, and certain other information.

The employer must make the Emergency Procedures available to all employees. After each implementation of the procedures, the employer and the applicable partner must jointly review them and if necessary, update them.

Additional requirements include training, resolution processes and records and reporting requirements. Next week we will look at these additional requirements.

The content of this article is intended to provide very general thoughts and general information, not to provide legal advice. Specialist advice from a qualified legal professional should be sought about your specific circumstances.

If you would like to reach us, we may be reached through our website, at www.inspirelaw.ca.

In case you missed it?

Kootnekoff: B.C. Violated French Education Rights

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Columnist

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta vehicles allegedly damaged in Summerland

Lug nuts loosened, windows smashed in several instances in Okanagan community

Two people die in outdoor shower, in Tulameen

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

VIDEO: Crews in Summerland film Christmas parade in July

Filming, on July 31, took place during the hottest days of 2020

UPDATE: More personnel at Dry Lake fire, 43 properties remain under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for three days

Princeton man faces charges after allegedly receiving ‘drunk driving’ lesson

The incident happened in the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 1

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Passengers escape unharmed from destructive houseboat fire in Shuswap

Cause of blaze on Mara Lake under investigation, flames erupt at 2 a.m. Aug. 4

Interior Health reports nine new cases of COVID-19, 149 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Former Kelowna resident makes fundraising goal for cancer fertility treatments

Rebecca Hamilton recieved a boost in a battle against cancer - $25,000 for post chemo treatments

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

UPDATE: Water bombers attack wildfire north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Wildfire BC reports fire is still classified out of control, 25 personnel on ground

Most Read