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Psychological Harassment

WorkSafeBC approves 3 new OHS workplace bullying and harassment policies to be effective November 1, 2013

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

WorkSafeBC has recently added the following announcement to its website:

At its March 2013 meeting, WorkSafeBC's Board of  Directors approved three new OHS workplace bullying and harassment policies:

  • Employer Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-115-2
  • Worker Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-116-1
  • Supervisor Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-117-2

The Board of Directors' resolution is available for reference.

Sections 115, 116 and 117 of the Workers Compensation Act set out the general duties of employers, workers, and supervisors respectively. The new policies have been developed to clarify the obligations of employers, workers, and supervisors regarding preventing, where possible, or otherwise minimizing workplace bullying and harassment.  read more »

Heenan Blaikie analyses CSA's "Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Canadian Workplace"

In a November 3, 2011 post I reported that the Canadian Standards Association was commencing consultations on the development of a voluntary "National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace".

Two lawyers at Heenan Blaikie - Cheryl A. Edwards and  Shane Todd - have now published a detailed analysis of the standard that can be found here: "National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Canadian Workplace Released".

The analysis was published the firm's January 24, 2012 OHS & Workers Compensation Management Update publication. 

Complaint into RCMP workplace harassment initiated by Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Public Safety

The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, a federal body housed in Public Safety Canada department, has initiated a complaint and investigation into RCMP workplace harassment.

The November 16, 2011 news release announcing the complaint states:

Ian McPhail, the Interim Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (Commission) has initiated a complaint and a public interest investigation into the conduct of RCMP members regarding the handling of allegations of harassment within the workplace.

"I am satisfied that, given recent events, there are reasonable grounds for me to conduct a review of RCMP procedures pertaining to workplace harassment," said Mr. McPhail.  read more »

BC's WCB Act to be amended to broaden coverage for mental stress conditions arising in workplace

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The British Columbia Government has introduced amendments to the Workers Compensation Act that, among other features, broaden compensation coverage for mental stress conditions arising in the workplace.

The amendments were introduced in the legislature on November 3, 2011. In the government's news release, Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government Margaret MacDiarmid states:

Our government recognizes that we need to treat job-related mental stress the same way we treat physical illness and injuries. We know mental stress has a significant impact on workers, their families and their workplace.

The Ministry's Backgrounder that accompanied the news release states:

What are the effects of mental stress?

Since mental stress most often results in physical and psychological symptoms, it has a significant effect on workers and their families.  read more »

CSA commences consultations on voluntary national standard for Psychological Health and Safety in Workplace

The Canadian Standards Association ("CSA") announced yesterday that it is commencing consultations on the development of a voluntary "National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace".

The CSA's November 2, 2011 news release provides:

As the leading cause of short and long term disability in Canadian workplaces, psychological health and safety impacts in Canada are substantial.

However, in 2012 Canadian employers will have increased support for improving the psychological health and safety of their employees with the development of a National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. All Canadians are welcome to participate in a 60‐day public consultation that began November 1, 2011. The close of the Public Review period has been extended from December 31, 2011 to January 6, 2012. All comments are due by January 6, 2012.  read more »