WorkSafeBC has approved three new Occupational Health and Safety policy statements concerning workplace bullying and harassment for inclusion in the WorkSafeBC Prevention Manual:
These new policies establish the general duties and obligations of employers, employees, and supervisors in connection with workplace bullying and harassment. For employers, the new policy requires an employer to take “all reasonable steps” to prevent or otherwise minimize workplace bullying and harassment.
The definition of workplace bullying and harassment is very broad, and includes “any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that worker to be humiliated or intimidated.”
Importantly, bullying and harassment does not include reasonable actions taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the place of employment.
Effective November 1, 2013, the Prevention Manual will be updated to include these new policies, which can be reviewed by clicking here.
In addition, it is anticipated that WorkSafeBC will also publish a new guideline and toolkit to assist employers with compliance in this area within the next six months. Employers will be required to have policies and procedures in place to address these new obligations.
If you have any questions about these important changes, or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.
For more information on new developments in Workplace Law, please refer to our website at:
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