What can I do if I am being harassed at work?

If someone at work is trying to make you afraid, uncomfortable, or angry, they may be harassing you.

Workplace  is a series of comments or actions that the person knows you don't like.

It can also include things they should know that you don't like, even if you have not told them. For example, they should know not to call you rude names, even if you haven't complained about it.

Harassment that’s against health and safety laws

The Occupational Health and Safety Act says that harassment is usually 2 or more events with the same person. One event is not usually harassment.

But something that happens once could be harassment if it's serious enough and affects you a lot. For example, touching someone in a sexual way might be harassment, even if it only happens once.

It does not matter who is harassing you. It could be a client, a customer, a co-worker, an employer, or anyone else at your workplace.

If someone is harassing you at work, your employer must try to protect you.

Harassment that goes against your human rights

All workplace harassment is against the law in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. But some kinds are also against the law in the Human Rights Code.

Harassment that goes against your human rights is a kind of . For example, this includes harassment because of your race, a , or your sexual orientation.

Human rights laws say that employers must not discriminate against you. And if other workers discriminate against you, your employer must take steps to make them stop.

If you’re being harassed

Write everything down and talk to your employer.

Most workers in Ontario are covered by the rules in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. If your employer is not following the law or their own harassment policy, you can make a complaint to the Ministry of Labour. See step 4.

You have different options for dealing with harassment if it goes against your human rights. You may be able to complain to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. See step 3.

And if the harassment causes traumatic mental stress or chronic mental stress, you may be able to make a claim to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

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