In Canada, the rights of employees and the responsibilities of employers regarding sexual harassment are set out in either:
- provincial legislation (human rights and/or occupational safety laws); or
- federal legislation (Canada Labour Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act).
Federal legislation only applies to federally regulated industries such as: banking, telecommunications, radio and television broadcasting, railways, and federal Crown corporations. (Note that Canada is different from the United States, where federal civil rights laws apply in addition to state laws)
Canada Labour Code amendments and Regulations that mandate sexual harassment training (among other protections) will come into force on January 1, 2021.
What Must the Training Include?
The training must be specific to the culture, conditions and activities of the work place and include the following elements:
- The elements of the work place harassment and violence prevention policy;
- A description of the relationship between work place harassment and violence and the prohibited grounds of discrimination set out in subsection 3(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act; and
- A description of how to recognize, minimize, prevent and respond to work place harassment and violence.