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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace can include:

  • Crossing boundaries
  • Leering
  • Unwanted flirting
  • Sharing inappropriate images
  • Degrading jokes or comments
  • Invalidating one's identity
  • Spreading rumours about one's sexual past
  • Intrusive questions

More than a million Canadians faces some form of sexual harassment at work in 2013 and 2014.

City of Toronto: Human Rights Office
Examples of sexual harassment in the workplace are: crossing boundaries, leering, unwanted flirting, sharing inappropriate images, degrading jokes or comments, invalidating one’s identity, spreading rumors about sexual past, and intrusive questions.

Time's Up sexual harassment PSA narrated by Donald Glover and Rashida Jones

The WUT of Workplace Harassment

Info-graphic, the WUT of Workplace Harassment. Long text below.

Steps to take when experiencing sexual harassment at work. 

  • Write Down: Document what happened. For example, this can look like sending yourself an email. 
  • Up Not Out: Inform upper management or senior leadership.
  • Take Care: When we hear or witness experiences of sexual harassment, it's important to practice self care.

Occupational Health and Safety Act

The Occupational Health and Safety Act

Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, external link

In 2016 changes were made to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act to include “workplace sexual harassment”. Under OSHA workplaces must abide by the following;

  • Procedures for employees to report an incident or complaint to another person if manager is the alleged harasser.
  • Duty to conduct an investigation into incidents and complaints that is appropriate to the circumstances
  • Ryerson employees have a duty to report when experiences of sexual harassments are reported.
  • Leaders should be reviewing  workplace harassment programs at least every 12 months
  • An employer must provide appropriate information and instruction to workers on the contents of the workplace harassment policy and program, as required by the OHSA