Workplace Violence and Harassment

Workers, supervisors and employers in Ontario have rights and duties when dealing with workplace violence and harassment. The Ministry of Labour has developed a guide to help employers understand the legislation, and the Human Resources department has created resources to help parishes.

Requirements

Parishes with 5 or fewer employees:

You don’t need to have written policies, but you do need to:

  • complete a workplace violence risk assessment
  • make sure employees are aware of possible risks
  • make sure employees know how to report and respond to violence or harassment in the workplace

Parishes with 6 or more employees

You need to:

  • complete a workplace violence risk assessment
  • have a policy on harassment in the workplace
  • have a policy on violence in the workplace
  • make sure employees are trained on the policies, procedures and how to report and respond to violence or harassment in the workplace

Step one

Complete a risk assessment. It needs to assess risk that may arise from the nature of the workplace, the type of work and the conditions of work. You can use the risk assessment template to help you. This is a survey, so not all employees need to complete the assessment.

Keep the completed assessments, because the Ministry of Labour might ask to see them in the future.

Step two

Prepare or adapt existing written policies on workplace harassment and workplace violence. You can use these templates:

These templates include procedures, a prevention program and a section on domestic violence. You may want to adapt them for the specific situations you discovered during the risk assessment.

Once they’re completed, post these policies in a conspicuous place in the parish (workplace). Review them at least once a year, or as often as necessary.

Any individuals with a violent history need to be identified if:

  1. the worker can be expected to encounter that person in the course of their work, AND
  2. the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose the worker to physical injury

Due to confidentiality, give the worker only the information that’s reasonably necessary to protect them. You may need to create a threat assessment team and criteria to determine when a person should be designated as having a history of violence.

Step three

Train workers on the policy and procedures as required. Training should also include violence and harassment prevention strategies, including complaint resolution.

Resources

The sample policy templates will give you the resources you need to comply with provincial workplace violence and harassment laws:

Other websites that will help you meet these requirements:

For more information, contact the Director of Human Resources at 416-363-6021, ext. 232 (1-800-668-8932).