Human Resources Legislative Update
Ontario Introduces Legislation Addressing Sexual Violence and Harassment
Date: October 28, 2015
On October 27, 2015, the Ontario government introduced Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015 which, if passed, would amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and related matters. Among other things, it would:
- amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act to revise the definition of “workplace harassment” to include a definition of “workplace sexual harassment,” expand an employer’s requirement to create a workplace harassment policy to include workplace sexual harassment, and impose certain duties on employers in relation to investigations of workplace harassment;
- amend the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act to include a section on sexual violence which would apply to every college of applied arts and technology and to every university which receives regular and ongoing funds from the government. Among other things, colleges and universities will be required to develop and implement a sexual violence policy which contains prescribed information including a complaints procedure, consider student input, review the policy at least every three years, and provide data to the Minister on incidents of sexual violence and initiatives developed;
- amend the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 to include a section on sexual violence. Among other things, private career colleges will be required to have a sexual violence policy which contains prescribed information including a complaints procedure, to include the sexual violence policy in every contract with a student, to consider student input, to review the policy at least every three years, and to report certain prescribed information to the Superintendent;
- amend the Limitations Act to remove the limitation period for civil proceedings based on sexual assault; and
- amend the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act to remove the limitation period for applications arising out of crimes of sexual violence or violence that occurred within a relationship of dependency or intimacy and amend the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 to shorten the time it takes to terminate a tenancy agreement for people experiencing violence or abuse.
For more information on Bill 132, see our FTR Now of October 28, 2015, Ontario Introduces Legislation to Address Sexual Violence and Harassment.