Bill 168 – Workplace Harassment and Violence

Bill 168 – Ontario’s New Workplace Harassment and Violence Law

What you should know:

* “workplace violence” means:

a) the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker

b) the attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker

c) a statement, or behaviour, that is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker

* employers must provide workers with information, including personal information, about a person with a history of violent behaviour

* the right of the worker to refuse work is granted where workplace violence is likely to endanger the worker

* employers are required to develop policy and program to proactively deter workplace harassment and violence

* policy and program must include a conducting of a risk assessment and the creation of a reporting and complaint investigation mechanism

* employers must review policy at least annually

* with respect to harassment, proof of an effect on, or damage to an employee’s dignity or psychological or physical integrity is not required, nor is there a requirement to prove that the harassment creates a harmful work environment ( such is effectively assumed to be one of the effects of workplace harassment)



Bill 168 provides the framework for establishing positive change in our work environment. It should be viewed as an opportunity to better protect ourselves from the more adverse effects of teaching. However, it will only bring about improvements to the extent that we understand and apply its provisions. Stay tuned for further developments in the Board’s ongoing implementation process. Meanwhile, be responsible: know your rights, know your forms and don’t be afraid to use them!

Remember that if you are hurt while executing your teaching duties you must fill out an accident form (WSIB Form 7) which is available from the school office. When completed, return it to the S.C.D.S.B. Education Centre within 72 hours of the incident. Taking Charge of Health and Safety in the workplace is the right of all workers in Ontario. For teachers, issues of Health and Safety can range from a loose or damaged electrical outlet to suspect indoor air quality, and from threats of violence to actual acts of aggression. When faced with a concern, what is a teacher to do?  Contact Amy Chevis or Mike Shillolo at the office (705) 725 0316 or via email or


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