2. Talk to your employer about the harassment
Question & AnswerWhat can I do if I am being harassed at work?
If you tell your employer that you're being harassed, they're supposed to:
- look into it
- take steps to stop the
If your workplace is covered by the safety rules in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, your employer must have a workplace harassment policy. In a workplace that has at least 6 people regularly working there, the policy has to be:
- in writing, and
- posted where it's easy for people to see.
The workplace harassment policy should have information about:
- how to get help quickly if someone is in danger
- how to report harassment to your employer
- how your employer will deal with your complaint
The policy on harassment at work could be on its own or together with another policy on workplace violence, health and safety, or human rights.
It's against the law for your employer to punish you for asking about your health and safety rights. But making a complaint about harassment can be difficult.
Get legal advice
It's a good idea to get legal advice before you do anything, including talking to your employer.
After you get legal advice, you'll have a better idea of what can happen and what your options are. Sometimes you have to choose between options. For example, you might not be able to make a claim at both the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Ministry of Labour.
Community legal clinics provide free legal services to people with low incomes who live in their area. Most help with some employment issues.
The Workers’ Health & Safety Legal Clinic helps people with low incomes who are having health and safety problems at work.
If the harassment goes against your human rights, you can contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre for free legal advice and information.
Pro Bono Ontario offers up to 30 minutes of free legal advice through its legal advice hotline. Call 1-855-255-7256.
The Ontario Legal Information Centre offers a free 30-minute meeting with a lawyer by telephone or in person at their Ottawa office, in English or French.