Alberta's updated OHS laws include clear definitions of sexual harassment

New occupational health and safety (OHS) rules will help prevent workplace bullying, harassment and violence, while providing better support for victims
Government of Alberta
May 28, 2018
Written by Government of Alberta
On June 1, Alberta's updated OHS laws will include clear definitions of harassment, including sexual and domestic violence, and increased protections from violence and harassment – a historic step towards safer workplaces throughout the province.

The new standards will better protect workers' mental and physical health by requiring employers to develop violence and harassment prevention plans. The rules also require employers to investigate any complaints of violence or harassment brought forward, ensure appropriate action is taken to keep employees safe and stop violence and harassment at their workplace.

The policies will also ensure any worker who brings a complaint forward will be protected from unfair reprisal, including termination. Employers will also be required to advise workers of treatment options available to them as victims of violence and harassment and entitle workers to their wages and benefits while attending these programs.

These laws are just one step in the Alberta government's commitment to end sexual violence. Earlier this month, Premier Rachel Notley declared May Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

About government's commitment to end sexual violence

Every Albertan has the right to live free from violence, and perpetrators of sexual violence violate that right. The Government of Alberta does not tolerate these abuses of power, and is taking action by bringing together 10 government ministries and community organizations to deliver a coordinated, provincewide response to address sexual violence in Alberta.

The commitment has three action areas:
  • Shift the culture towards believing survivors, challenging harmful myths and building a culture of consent.
  • Improve the response of Alberta's social, health, justice and education systems to address sexual violence.
  • Support individuals by funding frontline services for survivors and delivering education and prevention programs.

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