Employers have a legal duty to provide their workers with a safe workplace. This duty requires employers to address violence and harassment, including sexual violence and sexual harassment.
The responsibility for a safe workplace is a shared responsibility. Workers have a duty to refrain from engaging in any behaviour that results in the harassment of another worker, including sexual harassment.
In Saskatchewan the Occupational Health & Safety section of The Saskatchewan Employment Act sets out the steps that need to be taken by employers, and others in the workplace, to prevent harassment and to respond to it. The Occupational Health and Safety Division (OHS) of the Government of Saskatchewan administers these laws. Complaints can be made to the Harassment & Discrimination Prevention Unit of OHS if occupational health and safety laws are not being followed in the workplace.
If you work for a federally regulated employer, such as a bank or an airline, you have protections against workplace sexual harassment under the Canada Labour Code.
Providing a safe workplace always includes having prevention policies in place, as well as a meaningful process to receive and address complaints regarding harassment and violence of any kind.
Workers and employers in unionized workplaces have the same rights and responsibilities as those in non-unionized workplaces. They may also have additional rights and responsibilities.
Understanding the remedies that are possible under occupational health and safety laws and polices can help you make an informed choice about the option(s) you will exercise if you are dealing with workplace sexual harassment.
Laws designed to protect the physical and mental well-being of employees consider the impact of the conduct on the employee and the workplace.
Under occupational health and safety laws employers, supervisors and workers all have duties regarding workplace sexual harassment.
Occupational Health & Safety Committees are required for any workplace with 10 or more employees. Some workplaces with between 5-9 workers are required to appoint an Occupational Health & Safety Representative.
Employers are required have a Harassment Prevention Policy. It must include information about how to make a harassment complaint, as well as a commitment by the employer to take action when there has been workplace harassment.
In addition to having Harassment Prevention Policies, some workplaces must also have Violence Prevention Policies in place.
If you have experienced workplace sexual harassment you have a number of options for dealing with it, as well as protections under occupational health and safety laws.
Occupational Health & Safety may become involved in a workplace harassment case in a number of ways. They may assist an employer or employee who is dealing with harassment. They also have the right to inspect the workplace independently and the ability to impose penalties.
This section provides general information about Occupational Health & Safety laws only. The process for dealing with workplace sexual harassment and the consequences for engaging in workplace sexual harassment can vary between workplaces. If need more information you can contact Occupational Health & Safety. You may also need legal advice. If you have experienced workplace sexual harassment in Saskatchewan you are entitled to up to 4 hours of free legal advice. Learn More
This site provides general information about workplace sexual harassment only. It is not a substitute for receiving legal advice about your situation. Apply now to receive 4 hours of free legal advice.
The Shift Project is funded by the Department of Justice and delivered by the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA).