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Yukon government updates workplace violence and harassment regulations

The changes come into effect next September

The Yukon government is updating the language in territorial regulations that instruct employers on how to prevent violence and harassment at work.

The changes will come into effect on Sept. 4, 2021.

Under the new regulations, the definition of workplace hazards now includes violence or harassment.

Violence is defined as “the threatened, attempted, or actual exercise of physical force by a person that causes, or is likely to cause, an injury to a worker” or “a threatening statement made or any conduct engaged in by a person that gives a worker reasonable cause to believe that the worker is at risk of injury.”

Harassment also gets an updated definition that includes bullying or unwelcome comments that are workplace or work-related and “adversely affects the worker’s physical or psychological well-being or constitutes a threat to the worker’s health and safety.”

The changes note that bullying includes comments that are motivated by sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

“Every workplace has hazards. Identifying them and managing the risks they pose is the foundation of workplace health and safety. The Violence and Harassment Prevention Regulation highlights these two hazards and identifies actions that will help to control and mitigate their occurrence,” said Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board president Kurt Dieckmann in a statement.

Employers will be required to have a written policy of procedures and include violence and harassment prevention in training.

In August the Yukon Human Rights Commission announced it is launching a five-year campaign to target workplace sexual harassment across the territory.

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