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British Columbia is the most recent province to take a stand against workplace bullying.

Amendments to the province’s Workers Compensation Act came into effect on July 1—meaning employers could now be on the financial hook for emotionally harmful work environments.

The new legislation amends the act’s definitions of harassment and injury, and enables workers suffering from a mental disorder resulting from “significant work-related stressors” to seek compensation through WorkSafeBC. Previously, WorkSafeBC claims were limited to workplace accidents or severe emotional stress resulting from a traumatic event or series of stressors “arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment.” Now, the legislation specifically names bullying and harassment as a work-related stressor.

To qualify for compensation, the employee must suffer from a mental disorder that has been diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist.

The legislation also introduces a requirement for employers with more than 10 employees to establish and implement a workplace harassment policy that includes measures for workers to report incidents of harassment and procedures for investigating such incidents.

British Columbia is the fifth province to pass legislation addressing workplace bullying. Quebec was the first, with its Act Respecting Labour Standards in 2004. In 2007, Saskatchewan expanded the definition of harassment under its Occupational Health and Safety Act to include bullying. Ontario followed suit in 2009 by expanding its definition of workplace harassment under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. In 2011, Manitoba made changes to its Workplace Health and Safety Act to include protection from workplace bullying.

© Copyright 2014 Rogers Publishing Ltd. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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Barb:

The Bill 14 is a joke. I continue to be intimidated, harassed, threatened with physical assualt and verbal hostility. I am on anti-depressents, I see a mental health nurse and my physician will not let me return to my place of employment due to these conditions. I filed with WSBC and was told my claim is denied because ” according to legislation an employer is permitted to do what ever he wants, whether intentional or not.” I sent WSBC audio recordings and written transcripts. Even when I attempted to speak to one of the other owners of the company with regards to the situation… I was given written disciplinary action for it.
So what good is Bill 14? To protect the employer not the employee!!!!!!

Sunday, October 28 at 5:07 pm | Reply

Robert:

Barb: You are absolutely right. My wife was told today by worksafebc that they can’t do anything against an employer. It doesn’t make sense and needs further investigation

Tuesday, May 14 at 6:00 am | Reply

Sick and tired:

if you don’t like your work find another job! Very simple solution. And don’t cry me the blue regarding how hard it is to find work, your employer is NOT your adult life babysitter!!

Saturday, July 05 at 11:57 pm | Reply

maggie:

I have incountered numerous government officials who hand-out disinformation: do some research on legalities of dereliction/failure to perform duties you will find some helpful info.

Thursday, April 03 at 2:21 pm | Reply

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