An Act to Prevent and Fight Psychological Harassment and Sexual Violence in the Workplace

On November 23, the Quebec government introduced Bill 42, An Act to prevent and fight psychological harassment and sexual violence in the workplace. The Act will amend the following Acts:

  • Act Respecting Labour Standards (ALS) that will include:
    • Creation of protection against reprisals applicable to employees who report a situation of psychological harassment towards another employee
    • Creation of new obligations concerning the minimum content of policies for preventing and managing situations of psychological harassment
    • Prohibiting employers from disregarding past disciplinary measures related to misconduct involving physical, psychological, or sexual violence 
  • Act respecting Occupational Health and Safety includes:
    • The definition of sexual violence
    • The power given to the government to provide for any measures to be taken by an employer to prevent or stop sexual violence
  • Act respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases
    • New presumptions of occupational injury resulting from sexual violence
    • Extension of the time limit for filing a claim for employment injury resulting from sexual violence from six to two years
    • Costs of benefits due because of injuries resulting from sexual violence will be imputed to employers
    • New Measures to protect the confidentiality of employees’ medical records in the event of contestation by the employer
  • Labor Code
    • Grievance arbitrators must complete training on sexual violence to hear grievances relating to psychological harassment within the meaning of the ALS

The National Payroll Institute will monitor the progress of the Bill and how the new measures will affect employers’ policies and practices.

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