United Nations Climate Change
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The Ontario Human Rights Code has for some time prohibited sexual harassment in employment. Building on these protections, the Government of Ontario has introduced new legislation addressing sexual harassment under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016 (Act) recently received royal assent, less than five months after being introduced in the Legislative Assembly. The Act reflects the government’s commitment to prevent and address sexualized violence and amends six statutes. This update exclusively addresses key amendments to the OHSA.
First, the Act amends the definition of “workplace harassment” in the OHSA to explicitly include “workplace sexual harassment.” Workplace sexual harassment is defined as follows:
Second, the Act imposes obligations on employers to have updated workplace harassment policies, procedures and training in place by September 6, 2016. While employers currently have an obligation under the OHSA to establish workplace harassment programs, the Act expands this obligation by specifying that programs must:
Third, the Act imposes an obligation on employers to update their workplace harassment programs annually and to investigate incidents and complaints of harassment.
Finally, the Act broadens the authority of Ministry of Labour inspectors investigating complaints of workplace harassment, including workplace sexual harassment, by granting them the authority to order an impartial investigation at the employer’s expense.
These amendments to the OHSA are an important step in executing the government’s Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment as they recognize that workplace sexual harassment is not only a human rights issue, but also a workplace safety issue.
IMO 2020 is almost upon us. Readers are well aware of the impending switch to 0.5 percent fuel mandated by Annex VI of MARPOL which will cause an anticipated drop in HSFO demand, the potential hazards of new untested LSFO blends, the concerns around scrubber operations, the debate over open loop versus closed loop, and the myriad of other risks associated with the impending regulatory change.