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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Any form of harassment can be a harrowing experience for the victim. Sexual harassment in the workplace is of particular concern because it can inhibit an individual from making a living by affecting their performance and comfort.

Anyone is vulnerable to sexual harassment regardless of his or her authority, gender, creed, or ethnicity – so it is an issue that can affect any of us. 

Sexual harassment occurs when a person either engages in unwelcome conduct or comments against a worker because of sex, sexual orientation, general identity or gender expression. 

Sexual harassment may also occur when a person makes a sexual solicitation or advance, where the person making the advance is in a position to confer, grant, or deny any benefit or advancement to the employee.

In both instances, it should be reasonably known that the sexual conduct, comments or advance is unwelcomed. It is the employer’s responsibility to investigate the incident, as failing to conduct an adequate investigation could have potential consequences.

In addition to the common law, the two central statutes that deal with sexual harassment in the workplace in Ontario are the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Under the Ontario Human Rights Code every person has the right to be free from any and all unwelcomed advancement and solicitation. 

In Ontario, employers have a legal duty to takes steps to prevent and respond to sexual harassment. This may include having a comprehensive and clear anti-sexual harassment policy in place. Employees that have been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace have multiple options available including a human rights claim, lawsuit and so on. 

How can Zeilikman Law help?

If you need legal counseling regarding sexual harassment in employment as an employee, please contact Zeilikman Law to set up a consultation and discuss your concerns.

At Zeilikman Law, we approach these issues with logical and creative solutions. Our lawyers are, professional, friendly, and determined. We have the know-how to navigate through the psychology of any given dispute.

Request a consultation today!