Definitions of violence and harassment under different laws in Canada


Canada Labour Code, Regulation XX, part II


20.2 In this Part, “work place violence” constitutes any action, conduct, threat or gesture of a person towards an employee in their work place that can reasonably be expected to cause harm, injury or illness to that employee.

Canada Labour Code, part III, section 247.1

Sexual harassment

any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature

a)       that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any employee; or

b)       that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by that employee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or promotion.

Canadian Human Rights Act, part I, sections 3 (1-2), 7 and 14 (1(c) & 2)

Prohibited grounds of discrimination

3. (1) For all purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.

(2) Where the ground of discrimination is pregnancy or child-birth, the discrimination shall be deemed to be on the ground of sex.


7. It is a discriminatory practice, directly or indirectly,

(a) to refuse to employ or continue to employ any individual, or

(b) in the course of employment, to differentiate adversely in relation to an employee,

on a prohibited ground of discrimination.


14. (1) It is a discriminatory practice,

(c) in matters related to employment,

to harass an individual on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Sexual harassment

(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), sexual harassment shall, for the purposes of that subsection, be deemed to be harassment on a prohibited ground of discrimination.




October 7, 2015