Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice. She has been practicing law since 1994, with brief stints away to begin raising children. Susan has experience in many areas of law, but is most drawn to areas in which she can make a positive difference in people’s lives, including employment law. She has been a member of the Law Society of Alberta since 1994 and a member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 2015. Susan grew up in Saskatchewan. Her parents were both entrepreneurs, and her father was also a union leader who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of workers. Before moving to B.C., Susan practiced law in both Calgary and Fort McMurray, AB. Living and practicing law in Fort McMurray made a lasting impression on Susan. It was in this isolated and unique community that her interest in employment law, and Canada’s oil sands industry, took hold.                                In 2013, Susan moved to the Okanagan with her family, where she currently resides. Photo: Contributed

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice. She has been practicing law since 1994, with brief stints away to begin raising children. Susan has experience in many areas of law, but is most drawn to areas in which she can make a positive difference in people’s lives, including employment law. She has been a member of the Law Society of Alberta since 1994 and a member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 2015. Susan grew up in Saskatchewan. Her parents were both entrepreneurs, and her father was also a union leader who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of workers. Before moving to B.C., Susan practiced law in both Calgary and Fort McMurray, AB. Living and practicing law in Fort McMurray made a lasting impression on Susan. It was in this isolated and unique community that her interest in employment law, and Canada’s oil sands industry, took hold. In 2013, Susan moved to the Okanagan with her family, where she currently resides. Photo: Contributed

Kootnekoff: New workplace harassment and violence requirements

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years.

New Workplace Harassment & Violence Requirements for Federal Workplaces (Part 1) July 12, 2020

Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, received Royal Assent on October 25, 2018.

Bill C-65 will be force on January 1, 2021. Several requirements are left to be prescribed by regulation.

On June 24, 2020, the federal government published the Work Place Harassment and Violence Regulations (Regulations).

The Regulations contain requirements on federally regulated employers to comply with their obligations under the Canada Labour Code (CLC) harassment and violence prevention provisions. This includes requirements to investigate, record, report and take measures to prevent workplace harassment and violence and to provide certain training to their staff. These requirements are summarized in this article and next week’s article.

Federally regulated employers and workers who may be affected ought to review these provisions closely, as many nuances are included within them.

“Harassment and violence” is defined to mean “any action, conduct or comment, including of a sexual nature, that can reasonably be expected to cause offence, humiliation or other physical or psychological injury or illness to an employee, including any prescribed action, conduct or comment.” This extends beyond sexual harassment and violence.

Under the Regulations, employers must take certain steps jointly with the “applicable partner.” The “applicable partner” is the policy committee, or if there is no such committee then the workplace committee or health and safety representative. If joint agreement is not achieved on any required step, then the employer’s decision prevails. Certain records must be kept regarding this.

The new requirements include:

  • Workplace assessment – An employer and the applicable partner must jointly assess the workplace, identify risk factors and implement preventive measures. Certain factors must be identified. Within six months of identifying the risk factors, the employer and the applicable partner must jointly develop preventive measures that satisfy the requirements, and develop and implement those measures. Employers must also ensure that those it directs to conduct these steps have the training, education or experience to do so.
  • Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy – The employer and the applicable partner must jointly develop a workplace harassment and violence prevention policy. The policy must contain certain items. This includes a summary of the training that will be provided, a summary of the resolution process, a summary of the emergency procedures to be implemented when there is immediate or threatened danger to an employee’s health and safety, how the employer will protect participants’ privacy, a description of the records available to those involved, the support measures available to employees, and the name of the person designated to receive complaints made under s. 127.1(1) of the CLC.
  • Emergency Procedures – The employer and the applicable partner must jointly develop emergency procedures to be implemented if an immediate danger is posed or is threatened to an employee’s health and safety.

The employer must make readily available to employees in printed and electronic form Part II of the CLC, the Regulations, a statement of the employer’s general policy concerning the health and safety at work of employees, and certain other information.

The employer must make the Emergency Procedures available to all employees. After each implementation of the procedures, the employer and the applicable partner must jointly review them and if necessary, update them.

Additional requirements include training, resolution processes and records and reporting requirements. Next week we will look at these additional requirements.

The content of this article is intended to provide very general thoughts and general information, not to provide legal advice. Specialist advice from a qualified legal professional should be sought about your specific circumstances.

If you would like to reach us, we may be reached through our website, at www.inspirelaw.ca.

In case you missed it?

Kootnekoff: B.C. Violated French Education Rights

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Columnist

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Details will be made available in the next few days. (File photo)
Community vaccine program to open in Golden

This would make the vaccine available to those 18+

A hummingbird gives its wings a rare rest while feeding in a North Okanagan garden. (Karen Siemens/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)
Hummingbirds back for another Okanagan season

North America’s littlest birds return, and they’re hungry

Red dresses have been hung along Highway 95 to raise awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. (Claire Palmer photo)
Columbia River Métis Society honour Red Dress day

The day raises awareness for the plight of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women

HWY 95 south of Golden will be getting improved cell service. (File photo)
Better cell service coming to Highway 95

Improved connectivity just south of town is expected with new funding

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

(Kingfisher Boats photo)
In the market for a boat in the North Okanagan? Be prepared to wait

Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats is out of 2021 models, with many 2022 models already pre-sold

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)
Summerland archive established for George Ryga

Renowned author wrote novels, poetry, stage plays and screen plays from Summerland home

Most Read