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Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act establishes that workers have the right to be free from violence and harassment at work.

Workplace violence is the exercise or attempted exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker. A statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker also constitutes workplace violence.

Workplace harassment is engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.

Workplace harassment can involve unwelcome words or actions that are known or should be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating or demeaning to a worker or group of workers. It can also include behaviour that intimidates, isolates or even discriminates against the targeted worker.

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