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Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Training: Federal Employees

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Understanding what behaviours are workplace harassment or violence, options for responding to workplace harassment or violence and the obligations of people in the workplace regarding harassment and violence is an essential part of creating a harassment-free workplace.

Federally regulated workplaces are covered by:

  • Collective Agreements (in unionized workplaces)

These laws protect employees in the workplace from harassment and violence and impose obligations on employers to take action to prevent and deal with workplace harassment and violence.

Employees in unionized workplaces can have additional protections under their Collective Agreement. A Collective Agreement cannot take away any rights an employee has under other laws.

* If you do not work for a federally regulated employer such as a bank or an airline you can take the online training for provincial workers: Workplace Harassment Prevention Training: Provincial Workers.


After completing this training employees will understand:

  • How workplace harassment and violence is defined under occupational health and safety laws and human rights laws.
  • The responsibilities of employees and employers regarding workplace harassment and violence.
  • The requirement for a Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy, what must be included in one and how to use it.
  • How to make a complaint about workplace harassment or violence, the process for dealing with a complaint, when there must be an investigation, employees' rights during investigations and what happens after an investigation.
  • When workplace harassment or violence is discrimination under human rights laws and how human rights complaints are made and resolved.
  • When workplace harassment or violence is a crime and the remedies available under criminal law.

The Size of the Problem

In 2020 the Canadian Labour Congress with its partners conducted a nationwide survey on harassment and violence in Canadian workplaces. The initial report, Harassment and Violence in Canadian Workplaces: It’s [Not] Part of the Job released in 2022 contained these findings:

  • 7 in 10 workers have experienced a form of harassment and violence at work.
  • Nearly 1 in 2 workers have experienced sexual harassment and violence in the last two years.
  • Women, trans, nonbinary, and gender-diverse workers are experiencing higher rates of harassment and violence.
  • Indigenous survey respondents experienced significantly higher rates of harassment and violence (79%) and sexual harassment and violence (47.8%).
  • Workers with a disability experienced significantly higher rates of harassment and violence.
  • Third-parties (such as customers, clients, and patients) and co-employees were the two most commonly reported perpetrators.
  • 70% of workers who experienced harassment and violence had to miss work because of the negative effects.
  • 88% of workers who experienced harassment and violence were “transferred, suspended, fired, or lost a shift” due to the harassment and violence.
  • 1 in 4 who reported said that reporting made the situation worse.

The Impact

When someone is sexually harassed in the workplace, it can undermine their sense of personal dignity. It can prevent them from earning a living, doing their job effectively, or reaching their full potential. Sexual harassment can also poison the environment for everyone else. If left unchecked, sexual harassment in the workplace has the potential to escalate to violent behaviour.

Employers that do not take steps to prevent sexual harassment can face major costs in decreased productivity, low morale, increased absenteeism and health care costs, as well as potential legal expenses.

— Ontario Human Right Commission

Module 1: What is Workplace Harassment and Violence?

This module covers how workplace harassment and violence are defined under federal laws, conduct covered by these laws, the role of consent and what is not considered harassment or violence.

Module 2: Addressing Workplace Harassment and Violence Overview

This module provides a summary of the laws and policies that workplace harassment and violence violate, as well as looking at the roles of various people in the workplace and options for people who have been harassed or witnessed harassment in the workplace.

Module 3: Harassment and Violence Prevention Policies

This module covers what needs to be included in a Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy, how employees can use the policy and the workplace training that must be provided about harassment and violence.

Module 4: Reporting Workplace Harassment or Violence

The Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations create a process for reporting and dealing with workplace harassment or violence. Employers can also have additional processes to deal with workplace violence or harassment.

Module 5: Human Rights

This module outlines the process for making a discrimination complaint under the Canadian Human Rights Act when there has been workplace harassment based on a prohibited ground.

Module 6: Criminal Charges

This module has information about when workplace harassment or violence can be a crime.

Module 7: Unions (optional)

This module covers the rights and remedies unionized employees have regarding workplace harassment or violence.

PLEA offers free online training on preventing and addressing workplace harassment.

Workplace Harassment Prevention Training

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PLEA gratefully acknowledges our primary core funder the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for their continuing and generous support of our organization.