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Employers’ obligation to protect psychological well-being of workers expanded by Quebec bill

Psychological harassment and sexual violence in the workplace

The Quebec government, in an initiative welcomed by business and labour, is in the final stages of passing legislation that aims to further prevent and fight psychological harassment and sexual violence in the workplace by adding legal presumptions to make it easier to prove an employment injury or illness stemmed from violence at the hands of a co-worker or employer representative.

Bill 42, now before the Quebec National Assembly undergoing a clause-by-clause examination, introduces a definition that encompasses all speech and language of a sexual nature, extends the time limit for filing a claim, broadens the general duties of employers’ obligation to protect the psychological well-being of employers, and introduces harsher penalties for non-compliance. The bill also compels arbitrators who take on grievances dealing with psychological harassment to take mandatory training.

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This story was originally published in Law360 Canada.

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