Failure To Meet Workplace Violence And Harassment Requirements Ends in Hefty Fine

WHITBY, ONTARIO – A company that provided security services for Oshawa City Hall has been fined $70,000 for failing to comply with orders to develop workplace harassment and violence prevention programs for its workers.

By provincial law, employers must put in place policies on workplace harassment and violence and train their workers about these policies. The shortcomings came to light when a Ministry of Labour inspector conducted an inspection following an injury suffered by an employee of Federal Force Protection Agency (FFPA) in October 2014 at the city hall building located at 50 Centre Street South in Oshawa.

The inspector issued 10 orders to FFPA to comply and followed up with three phone calls, as a number of orders became past due. In March 2015 the inspector attended the workplace to verify the status of the orders, and issued a notice of non-compliance as seven of the 10 orders had not been complied with.

The orders required the employer to assess the risks of workplace violence, prepare a policy and develop, maintain and implement a program to deal with it; information and training of workers about the policy and program must also be provided. The same requirements were ordered for workplace harassment.

On February 6, 2017, Justice of the Peace Gerald Ryan agreed that the company had failed to comply with orders issued by a Ministry of Labour inspector and fined the company $10,000 for each count of non-compliance, totaling $70,000. The hearing was conducted “ex parte.” An ex parte decision is one decided by a judge without requiring all of the parties to the dispute to be present.

The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

Ministry of Labour