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Yukon
Equal Employment Opportunity

Overview

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

 

Applicable Laws

The primary Yukon law prohibiting employment discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of any protected ground is the Human Rights Act, R.S.Y. 2002, c. 116 (HRA).

The Workplace Health and Safety Regulations, Yuk. Reg. O.I.C. 2006/178 (WHS Regs) prohibits harassment and violence in the workplace

Protected Grounds

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

  • Ancestry, including colour and race;
  • national origin;
  • ethnic or linguistic background or origin;
  • religion or creed or religious belief, religious association or religious activity;
  • age;
  • sex (including pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions);
  • sexual orientation;
  • physical or mental disability;
  • criminal charges or criminal record (where not relevant to employment);
  • political belief, political association or political activity;
  • marital or family status;
  • source of income;
  • and actual or presumed association with other individuals or groups whose identity or membership is determined by any of these grounds.

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

Under the Human Rights Act, R.S.Y. 2002, c. 116 (HRA), “harass” means engaging in a course of vexatious conduct or making a demand or a sexual solicitation advance that is known (or ought reasonably to be known) to be unwelcome. Harassment is discrimination when it is based on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Under the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations, Yuk. Reg. O.I.C. 2006/178 (WHS Regs), harassment of a worker by a person means bullying or any other objectionable conduct or inappropriate comment by the person that:

  • Occurs in a workplace or is work-related.
  • The person knows, or ought reasonably to know, is likely to be unwelcome.
  • Adversely affects the worker’s physical or psychological well-being or constitutes a threat to the worker’s health and safety.

This includes bullying, a course of inappropriate comments or objectionable conduct against the worker that relates to or is motivated by the worker’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression but does not include reasonable conduct of an employer or supervisor in respect of management of workers or a worksite.

Violence

Under the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations, Yuk. Reg. O.I.C. 2006/178 (WHS Regs), violence means any of the following conduct that occurs in a workplace or is work-related:

  • The threatened, attempted or actual exercise of physical force by a person that causes (or is likely to cause) an injury to a worker.
  • A threatening statement or conduct by a person that gives a worker reasonable cause to believe they are 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.

Domestic Violence

The Workplace Health and Safety Regulations, Yuk. Reg. O.I.C. 2006/178 (WHS Regs) also address domestic violence in the workplace.

If the employer becomes aware (or ought reasonably to be aware) that a worker is or is likely to be exposed to domestic violence at the workplace, it is required to take reasonable precautions to protect the worker and any other persons at the worksite likely to be affected.

Filing a Claim in Yukon

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

A claim related to workplace violence, including harassment, may be filed with the Worker’s Safety and Compensation Board.

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.