glossary

harassment

Ontario’s laws say that harassment happens when someone says or does things that they know, or should know, will bother you. This could be because what is said or done is offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning, or not welcome. This usually has to happen more than once to be considered harassment, but a single incident can be considered harassment if it causes you to feel very uncomfortable.

Harassment can include sending emails, posting materials or pictures, making jokes or other comments about:

  • your race, gender identity, gender expression, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age
  • things like the way you dress, how you talk, or your religious practices
  • in housing law, if you are receiving social assistance
  • in employment law, your record of criminal offences

Harassment like this goes against human rights laws and is a kind of discrimination. For example, if an employer harasses you because of your record of criminal offences or a landlord harasses you because you are on welfare.

Harassment is also against the laws that protect a workers’ health and safety, and the laws that protect tenants. 

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