Remedies Available to Employees and Timeliness of Complaints under Bill 168

As a result of Bill 168, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, (the “OHSA” or “Act”) now imposes obligations on employers to maintain policies and programs with respect to preventing both workplace violence and harassment. While the requirement to maintain such policies and programs is well established, what is less certain is what remedies will be available to an employee who brings a complaint regarding workplace violence or harassment. The OHSA does not set out a Tribunal where an employee may file a complaint concerning workplace violence or harassment. Bill 168 is unlike the Ontario Human Rights Code which provides for the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO), an independent tribunal, where complaints of discrimination and harassment based on prohibited grounds (such as race, age, gender, etc.) can be filed and where remedies are ordered in proven cases.

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