Workplace Harassment Lawyer 

Workplace harassment is any kind of behavior that is uninvited, unsolicited, and can be either physical or verbal. It includes unwelcome words or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or should be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, or demeaning. Workplace harassment extends to sexual harassment, which is defined by Ontario health and safety legislation to mean: 

(a)  engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or

(b)  making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.

Workplace violence is the attempt to or exercise of physical force against a worker in a workplace that causes or could cause physical injury. It also includes a statement or behavior that it is reasonable to be interpreted by a worker as a threat to exercise physical force that could cause physical injury to the worker.

All of these different forms of workplace harassment and violence are unacceptable in the workplace and could lead to a hostile work environment. 

If you are experiencing any sort of harassment in the workplace that has not been appropriately addressed, it is important to discuss your case with a workplace harassment lawyer. 

Need more help? Call Us today at (647) 724-5179 or

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What employers need to know about workplace harassment 

In Ontario, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees in the workplace, including procedures for dealing with workplace health and safety and for enforcement. It defines “workplace health and safety as identifying and preventing hazards that could lead to injury, mental and physical illness and fatalities at work”. Everyone in the workplace, including the employer and the employees, has a role to play in keeping workplaces safe and healthy. 

Ontario’s health and safety legislation requires employers to develop and maintain a written workplace harassment policy. The workplace harassment policy should be reviewed annually, and made available to everyone by being posted at a conspicuous place in the workplace. In addition, employers are required to have a written program to implement the workplace harassment policy.

The Workplace Harassment Policy and Program should, at a minimum, address the following matters:

  • What conduct is considered workplace harassment, including workplace sexual harassment, and how to recognize it; 
  • The measures and procedures for workers to report incidents of workplace harassment to the employer or supervisor, or to a person other than the employer or supervisor, if the employer or supervisor is the alleged harasser; 
  • How the employer will investigate and deal with an incident or complaint of workplace harassment; and
  • How the employer will report the results of the workplace investigation, including to the employee and alleged harasser.

If you are an employer, and require assistance understanding, drafting or implementing workplace policies and procedures, contact us and one of our experienced Workplace Harassment Lawyers in Toronto would be happy to assist. 

How to report workplace harassment?

The OHSA requires all employers to establish a system for handling workplace harassment cases where workers can immediately report any form of workplace harassment. Workers can report the incident either verbally or in writing. The worker may report the harassment by: 

  1. Submitting a written complaint by using the approved workplace harassment complaint form; or 
  2. By disclosing the complaint verbally to the designated reporting contact. The worker must be with the reporting contact at the time of filing to ensure that the information captured is correct.   

Who to report workplace harassment to?

An incident or a complaint of workplace harassment should be reported immediately, or as soon as possible after experiencing or witnessing an incident. This allows the incident to be investigated in a timely manner. 

In order for the incident to be acted on immediately, the Incident Report or Complaint should indicate identifying information about the complainant, and details of what happened including date(s), frequency and location(s) including any supporting documents the complainant may have in their possession, or a list of witnesses that are relevant to the complaint. 

In the event that the employer, worker’s supervisor or reporting contact is the person engaging in the workplace harassment, the worker may contact an alternate reporting contact provided in the employer’s workplace harassment protection program. 

The OHSA also clarifies that the person designated as the reporting contact should not be under the direct control of the alleged harasser. This ensures that the worker can freely disclose his or her identity without fear from the alleged harasser. 

Confidentiality of the investigation

The employer has the duty to ensure that all information related to the complaint shall be kept confidential to the extent possible. Any information obtained from a complaint of workplace harassment should not be disclosed unless disclosure is necessary to protect the workers, to take corrective action, or if required by law.

We are here to help. Contact a Workplace Harassment Lawyer 

Workplace harassment is a serious matter that must be handled with the proper attention and care it deserves.

If you are an employee and are experiencing any form of harassment at your workplace, you should immediately report it to your employer. If your matter has not been treated appropriately or adequately addressed by your employer, please reach out to a workplace harassment lawyer for assistance. Our team of experienced workplace harassment lawyers will work with you to ensure your voice is heard and that your rights are protected.

If you are an employer, and need help understanding your obligations, drafting and implementing procedures and policies in the workplace, our team of knowledgeable employment lawyers  can help. Contact us or call us (647) 724-5179 today to discuss your case with a team of competent and experienced workplace harassment lawyers in Toronto.