Bill C-65 was introduced by Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patty Hajdu last November and after second reading, was referred to the HUMA Committee, which is seeking comments from Canadians on the Bill.
The Institute is pleased that the government is taking legislative steps to prevent harassment and violence, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, in federally-regulated workplaces. These steps are much-needed and long-overdue.
However, the Institute is concerned about what Bill C-65 does not include. In particular, many important and key details regarding how the legislation will operate have been left to the regulations. These include the definition of harassment, the exceptions to the employer’s duty to investigate and report harassment, and the process to be followed when complaints are investigated, including what procedural fairness guarantees will be put in place, the remedies available to victims of harassment and the potential repercussions for harassers. As well, proper staffing and resources need to be allocated to these processes to ensure timely and fair investigations and effective redress for victims. In addition, consideration needs to be given to how the legislation will interact with existing processes in place, including collective agreement rights, and should explicitly address the rights of unionized employees to union representation throughout.
Read our complete brief.