The government has passed revised regulations under the Canada Labour Code that put in place a new process for incidents of violence and harassment in federal workplaces. Here are some highlights of the new process.
1. Notification: Making the employer aware
- Complainant or witness gives notice in writing or orally
- Employer or designated recipient confirms receipt within 7 calendar days
- Employer must also inform complainant about each step of the resolution process and their right to representation (by union or support person)
2. Negotiated resolution or conciliation: Talking it out
- Parties must make efforts to resolve the issue
- Parties may use conciliation if acceptable to all.
Note: The use of conciliation does not rule out a formal investigation if the process is not successful.
3. Investigation: The new part
- An investigation of the occurrence must be carried out if requested
- Employer or designated recipient selects an investigator from a joint internal list who is agreed to by both parties
- If an investigator cannot be mutually agreed to, one is appointed from the government’s roster, after 60 days
- Investigator conducts their investigation
4. Completion of process
- Investigator provides report to employer, which includes (a) a general description of what happened; (b) conclusions; and (c) recommendations to eliminate or minimize the risk of a similar occurrence
- Employer provides investigator’s report to all parties andthe workplace committee or health and safety representative
- Employer and workplace committee or health and safety representative jointly determine which of the recommendations will be implemented
- All joint recommendations MUST be implemented by the employer
How it has improved
- a “designated recipient” receives harassment and violence complaints, so workers no longer have to file a complaint to their supervisor
- reasonable timeframes for resolution to better support the complainant and alleged perpetrator (7 days to respond to a notice of an incident, 60 days to appoint an Investigator, one year for the entire process to be wrapped up)
- confidentiality of all parties involved, including witnesses, throughout the investigation
- a unique process for employees victimized by a third party (for example, an employee harassed by a client)
- employer obligations to implement recommendations and/or corrective measures in response to the investigation report
Check out a more detailed road map.