What is it?

Harassment includes any inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action, or gesture. Harassment can involve repeat occurrences, or a single incident that has a lasting harmful effect on a worker. For the different types of harassment, visit the ‘Learn more’ page.

What is the standard?

Employers have a responsibility to ensure a harassment-free workplace. By law, an employer must develop and implement a harassment policy, and ensure that workers are not exposed to harassment in the workplace.

Learn more

There are two types of harassment covered under The Saskatchewan Employment Act:

harassment based on prohibited grounds; and personal harassment.

Harassment based on prohibited grounds includes any inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or gesture by a person that: is made on the basis of race, creed, religion, colour, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability, physical size or weight, age, nationality, ancestry or place of origin.

This type of harassment also extends to sexual harassment which is conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature that is offensive, unsolicited or unwelcome. It can include:

  • A direct or implied threat of reprisal for refusing to comply with a sexually-oriented request;
  • Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendos, propositions or taunting about a person’s body, attire, sex, or sexual orientation;
  • Displaying pornographic or sexually explicit pictures or materials;
  • Unwelcome physical contact;
  • Unwelcome invitations or requests, direct or indirect, to engage in behaviour of a sexual nature, or;
  • Refusing to work with or have contact with workers because of their sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

Certain types of conduct not specifically directed at an individual, such as displaying a poster or making comments that are overheard by another worker, can be considered harassment based on prohibited grounds.

Personal harassment is sometimes referred to as bullying. Typically, personal harassment involves repeat occurrences. A single incident may also constitute personal harassment if serious or severe and is shown to have a lasting harmful effect on a worker.

Personal harassment may include:

  • Verbal or written abuse or threats;
  • Insulting, derogatory or degrading comments, jokes or gestures;
  • Personal ridicule or malicious gossip;
  • Malicious or unjustifiable interference with another’s work;
  • Work sabotage;
  • Refusing to work or co-operate with others; or
  • Interference with, or vandalism of personal property.

Employers have the responsibility in ensuring a harassment-free workplace. By law, an employer must:

  • Develop and implement a written harassment policy that meets the requirements of the law, and;
  • Ensure, as much as reasonably practicable, that employees are not exposed to harassment in the workplace. This may include harassment that occurs outside of regular work hours and locations (i.e., employer-sponsored social event or conference) or is perpetrated by a third-party client (i.e., customer or client).
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