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Saskatchewan
Equal Employment Opportunity

Overview

Please review the information below and then return to the workplace harassment and violence prevention course.

Applicable Laws

The primary Saskatchewan law prohibiting employment discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of any protected ground is the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, 2018, S.S. 2018, c. S-24.2.

Part III (Occupational Health and Safety) of The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, c. S-15.1 (SEA) and The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, c. S-15.1 Reg 10 (OHS Regulations) prohibit harassment and violence in the workplace.

Protected Grounds

Harassment or discrimination based on any ground set forth below is prohibited in Saskatchewan.

  • religion,
  • creed,
  • marital status,
  • family status,
  • sex,
  • sexual orientation,
  • disability,
  • age,
  • colour,
  • ancestry,
  • nationality,
  • place of origin,
  • race or perceived race,
  • receipt of public assistance
  • and gender identity.

Some provincial or territorial laws provide additional, separate standards and remedies for certain prohibited conduct, such as laws addressing equal pay without regard to sex or other protected ground.

Definitions of Harassment and Violence

Harassment

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, 2018, S.S. 2018, c. S-24.2, does not define what harassment means. Harassment is discrimination when it is based on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Under The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, c. S-15.1 (SEA), the definition of “harassment” has several components.

“Harassment” under the SEA includes any inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or gesture by a person towards a worker:

  • That either:
    • is based on any prohibited ground as defined in The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, 2018 or on physical size or weight (“prohibited ground harassment”); or
    • adversely affects the worker’s psychological or physical well-being and that the person knows or ought reasonably to know would cause the worker to be humiliated or intimidated (“personal harassment”); and
  • That constitutes a threat to the health or safety of the worker.

“Harassment” under the SEA also includes any conduct, comment, display, action or gesture by a person towards a worker that:

  • Is of a sexual nature; and
  • The person knows or ought reasonably to know is unwelcome (“sexual harassment”).

Under the SEA, there must be a threat to the health or safety of the worker for both prohibited ground harassment and personal harassment, but not for sexual harassment. This is not a requirement for harassment under The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, 2018.

To constitute personal harassment under the SEA, either of the following must be established:

  • There must be repeated conduct, comments, displays, actions or gestures.
  • There must be a single, serious occurrence of conduct (or a single, serious comment, display, action or gesture), that has a lasting and harmful effect on the worker.

Personal harassment does not include any reasonable action that is taken by an employer, manager or supervisor, relating to the management and direction of the workers or the workplace.

For the purposes of harassment protections under the SEA, a “worker” includes an individual, including a supervisor, who is engaged in the service of an employer as well as:

  • A person who is enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary educational institution and who:
    • is permitted by an employer, directly or indirectly, to perform work or services; or
    • is being trained by an employer;
  • A volunteer that an employer permits, directly or indirectly, to perform work or services; and
  • An independent or dependent contractor.

Violence

Under The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, c. S-15.1 Reg 10 (OHS Regulations), “violence” means the attempted, threatened or actual conduct of a person that causes or is likely to cause injury. This includes any threatening statement or behaviour that gives a worker reasonable cause to believe that the worker is at risk of injury.

The legislation does not distinguish between violence involving co-workers and violence that originates from others who may enter the workplace.

Filing a Claim in Saskatchewan

A claim for employment discrimination or harassment based on a protected ground may be filed with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.

A claim related to workplace violence, including harassment, may be filed with the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety

Retaliation Prohibited

Employer retaliation against an employee who files a complaint relating to harassment or workplace violence or is involved in the complaint process is unlawful.