Ontario’s Human Rights Commission issued a statement on November 25, 2014 in relation to sexual harassment and the Ontario Human Rights Code. The statement reminds employers as to what constitutes sexual harassment as well as how to prevent it or deal with it in the workplace. The statement also links the Commission’s Policy on Preventing Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment.

The primary recommendations of the Commission are as follows: (i) employers should have a clear and comprehensive policy in place; (ii) employers should ensure that all employees have access to the policy and are aware of their rights and responsibilities; and (iii) employers should ensure that all employees in positions of responsibility have been trained in relation to the policy.

While the statements and policies of the Commission do not have the force of law and instead simply set out the Commission’s interpretation of the law as of the date of posting, they are a good reminder of what the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal looks to when determining a sexual harassment complaint.

For more information, the Commission’s recent statement can be reviewed at the following link: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/news_centre/sexual-harassment-and-ontario-human-rights-code.