Bill 132 for Employers: Sexual Harassment

As of September 2016, Ontario Bill 132 is in full effect. Also known as the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, 2016the legislation made major changes to the following:

  • Compensation for Victims of Crime Act
  • Limitations Act, 2002
  • Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Private Career Colleges Act, 2005
  • Residential Tenancies Act, 2006

The purpose of Bill 132 is to address and eliminate workplace sexual violence and harassment. Employers and employees have certain rights and obligations, and it’s important to know them in order to change your workplace policies accordingly.

Revised definition: “Workplace Sexual Harassment”

  1. Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; or
  1. Making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant, or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.

Employer Responsibilities under Bill 132


Employers must conduct investigations into complaints of workplace sexual violence and harassment.

Disclosing Results & Consequences of Investigations

Employers are obligated to inform the complainants and respondents, in writing, of the investigation’s conclusion and any corrective action required. This should be set out in a policy.

Systems for Reporting Workers’ Superiors

Employers must include procedures for employees to report harassment to someone other than their superior, if their superior is the alleged harasser.

Respecting Privacy

Companies must have a system for keeping confidential all personal information gathered during an investigation. Disclosure is allowed when it is needed for the investigation or when it is required by law.

Workplace Investigation Enforcement

Ministry of Labour inspectors can order an employer to hire, at the employer’s expense, a third-party investigator to investigate the workplace and produce a report. For this reason, it is important to be proactive and create a compliant policy around workplace sexual harassment.

Call to get advice on preventing Workplace Sexual Harassment.

Get help on implementing an appropriate workplace sexual harassment policy under Bill 132. Call Employer Line and ask our HR experts how to comply with Ontario’s workplace sexual harassment and violence laws: 1-833-247-3650.