Sexual Harassment Health and Safety Laws Unions Human Rights Workers' Compensation Civil Criminal Workplace Harassment Prevention Training About the Project Contact Us Apply Now

Duties in the Workplace

Preventing and addressing workplace harassment and violence is a responsibility that is shared by everyone in the workplace.

Employers, supervisors and workers must all cooperate with anyone who is fulfilling their duties under the occupational health and safety section of The Saskatchewan Employment Act or the Canada Labour Code.

For the purpose of duties in the workplace, a worker includes a student that the employer allows to perform work or who is being trained by the employer.

Employers' Duties

  • Employers are required, as far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their workers.
  • Employers are required, as far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure that workers, volunteers, and independent contractors are not exposed to harassment or violence in the workplace.
  • Employers are required, as far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure that the activities of workers do not negatively affect the health, safety, or welfare of other workers, the employer or self-employed people in the workplace.
  • Employers are required to have and follow a written Harassment Prevention Policy.
  • Employers are required to ensure that an investigation is conducted into any incidents of workplace harassment.
  • Employers are required to prevent an alleged harasser, or others, from taking action against a worker because the worker made a harassment complaint.
  • Employers themselves are also required to not take any action against a worker because the worker made a harassment complaint.

Employers and supervisors need to perform some duties as far as is reasonably practicable. Practicable means anything that is possible. What is reasonably practicable depends on weighing the cost - in time, trouble and money – against the benefit of the action. If the cost outweighs the benefit by a considerable amount, a prevention activity may not be considered reasonably practicable. If an incident could have serious consequences, more costly steps need to be taken to prevent it from happening.

Employers in federally regulated workplaces must also ensure that the health and safety of their employees is protected. They must take measures to prevent and protect against harassment and violence in the workplace, respond to occurrences of harassment and violence in the workplace and offer support to employees affected by harassment and violence in the workplace.

Supervisors' Duties

  • Supervisors are responsible for ensuring, to the extent that it is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers under their direct supervision and direction.
  • Supervisors must ensure that workers under their supervision comply with health and safety standards.
  • Supervisors are required, to the extent that it is reasonably practicable, to ensure that workers, volunteers and independent contractors under their direct supervision and direction are not exposed to harassment or violence in the workplace.

Third-Party Harassers

It is important to remember that workplace sexual harassment includes harassment by more than just co-workers or employers – customers, clients, patients, contractors and others can be responsible for workplace harassment. Employers may have limited ability to investigate the conduct of third parties or to control inappropriate behaviour.

However, employers are required to take reasonable steps to prevent their workers from being harassed, regardless of who is responsible for the harassment. Steps an employer can take include posting an anti-harassment policy where it can be seen by third parties. They can also authorize workers to refuse service and to ask the harasser to leave the workplace.

In federally regulated workplaces, if the alleged harasser is not an employee or the employer, the assessment of the workplace’s risk factors for harassment or violence must be updated to take into account the circumstances of the incident. This is then used to update the preventative measures that are in place, if needed.

Workers' Duties

Workers need to keep their responsibilities in mind and make sure they are not passively participating in harassment or violence by going along with the inappropriate behaviour of others in the workplace.

  • Workers have a duty to take reasonable care to protect their own health and safety.
  • Workers have a duty to take reasonable care to protect the health and safety of other workers who could be affected by their actions.
  • Workers must comply with health and safety standards.
  • Workers must refrain from causing or participating in the harassment of another worker, volunteer or independent contractor.
  • Workers must refrain from causing or participating in any violent act towards another worker, volunteer or independent contractor.

Workers in federally regulated workplaces must also take reasonable care to protect their own and other workers’ health and safety. Workers also have a duty to inform their employer about any situation that is likely to be hazardous to their health or safety or that of others in the workplace.

Was it easy to find what you were looking for on this site?

Did the information on this site help you understand workplace sexual harassment?

Did the information on this site help you understand processes for dealing with workplace sexual harassment?

Was there information about workplace sexual harassment that you needed that was not on the site?

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).

Privacy Policy | Social Media Policy