Canada (Federal)

In Canada, the rights of employees and the responsibilities of employers regarding sexual harassment are set out in either:

  • provincial legislation; or
  • federal (Canadian) legislation.

Note that this is different from the United States where the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII (codified as 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.) applies in addition to any state laws.

Are you subject to Canadian federal laws (Canada Labour Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. L-2 and the Canadian Human Rights Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6)? Only 6% of Canadian employees are. Federally regulated industries include: banking, telecommunications, radio and television broadcasting, federal Crown corporations and more.

Under Bill C-65, Canada Labour Code amendments that mandate sexual harassment training (among other protections) will come into force in 2020.

Unless federally regulated, Canadian employers should look to provincial human rights legislation and (in some cases) occupational health and safety legislation to find out what their training and other obligations are regarding sexual harassment.