Sexual Harassment



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Sexual harassment in the workplace is a significant problem despite social unacceptability


Ontario Human Rights Code

Sexual harassment can range from verbal comments to unreasonable solicitations and touching to sexual assault intercourse. The strength of a sexual harassment case depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident. See Miller v. Sam’s Pizza House (1995), 23 C.H.R.R. D/433 for a summary of the wide range of sexually harassing behaviour. Ontario’s human rights legislation is the Ontario Human Rights Code, and just like federal legislation, it exists in part to prevent sexual harassment. There are also common law employment law remedies in Ontario to deal with sexual harassment. These remedies range from torts such as assault and the infliction of nervous shock and mental suffering, to actions for wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal and breach of the implied obligation of good faith and fair dealing.

​Employers have a positive obligation to keep the workplace free from sexual harassment. An employer failing to do so may be open to liability. Employers have a duty to develop and maintain a written policy with respect to workplace violence and harassment, including sexual harassment, and also have a duty to investigate allegations of sexual harassment. If employers are unwilling or simply fail to investigate complaints, recent developments in the law allow the Ministry of Labour to force the employer to hire an impartial investigator to look into the matter and produce a report. This will all be at the expense of the employer. An employer taking a reprisal against an employee for raising sexual harassment concerns faces additional exposure to remedies under the reprisal provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

​Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

In Ontario, an employee may file a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario or include the allegation as part of a civil law suit such as constructive dismissal, wrongful dismissal or a tort like the intentional infliction of mental suffering. One can be compensated for mental distress, humiliation and loss of dignity as well as for economic loss. A civil action may lead to punitive damages, whereas at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the employee can seek re-instatement or damages in lieu of re-instatement. This is an attractive option if the employee does not feel comfortable returning to the workplace. Other non-financial remedies include removing the harasser from your work environment or providing a letter of reference.

​The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario also has the power to order public interest remedies, such as requiring an employer to develop non-discriminatory policies or to implement education and training programs. These remedies can have a broader educational impact, and often seek to prevent similar discrimination from re-occurring in the future. If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace or you require assistance developing and implementing an effective and powerful workplace sexual harassment policy, please contact Ball Professional Corporation.



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Google Reviews

Steven Wang
Steven Wang
19:58 18 Mar 19
Stacey was the third lawyer that I had hired to represent me, after the previous two didn't achieve anything for me. Stacey is very different. He is not only the author of Canadian Employment Law with profound knowledge and experience, he is also the most efficient one, direct to the point. He is the toughest one, well known by HR people, and he takes care of his client all by himself. There is no junior lawyers under him. That's the big difference comparing with other big employment law firms on Google, where I could only meet with a young lawyer with little experience. After he spoke with me for 45 minutes, he found the best way to break through. He didn't need to ask for a lot of document and he didn't bill hours to review them. His fee structure is aligned with his client's best interest. My problem was solved very quickly with a great result, and I only have to meet with him twice and exchange some emails. He's not just a tough fighter and negotiator, he got great strategy to make a deal. He answered my emails during the holidays. He comes in the office very early, and we had a conference call at 7am in the morning when we need to make a quick decision. To me, he is the best employment lawyer, a patient teacher and a friend. I strongly recommend him to those who need help.
Aiden Nix
Aiden Nix
01:13 06 Apr 19
Stacey was super helpful and increased my settlement a significant amount. He is very busy so you have to chase him down a bit but that is minor issue compared to all of the positives. Overall if you need a good labour lawyer then talk to him right away. He is THE lawyer to go to in Ontario!Thanks Stacey!
Sergei R
Sergei R
05:01 06 Dec 18
My experience with Stacey R. Ball was very positive. His fees are reasonable and value I received for the money was outstanding. Luckily, after his advice my situation was resolved almost amicably. You will not believe how reasonable some people can become after they start suspecting you have a good lawyer. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you suspect you might need a lawyer in the future because of some developing situation at work, I highly recommend you wait no more and talk to Stacey.
Danny T
Danny T
18:34 26 Feb 19
Stacey has recently represented me. He’s patient, but to the point which I can appreciate. No fluff. He worked quickly and even responded during his holidays. Definitely highly recommended.
Alexa Arsenault
Alexa Arsenault
19:36 01 Nov 18
If I could give Stacey Ball 30 stars I would! Stacey was right on the “ball” when it came to my legal matter. I called his office and his efficient staff scheduled me for an appointment the next day. He’s a great listener and comes to the point quickly, confidently, and succinctly. He explained best and worst case scenarios and dealt with my matter without delay. He was successful in concluding my legal matter to my satisfaction and met all my expectations. I highly recommend Stacey for all your legal matters.Alexa
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