November O-News: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace


1 in 4 Canadians has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace


25% who reported it found that management was unresponsive. It's time to shift the thinking around sexual harassment in the workplace. Together we will lead teams in shifting thoughts, attitudes and culture to foster zero tolerance in the workplace. 

Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) and Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) recognize the hospitality and tourism sector is not immune. In response, the Government of Ontario released the 2015, “It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment.”  ORHMA in partnership with OTEC and Tourism HR Canada have developed “It’s Your Shift”, an advanced training and awareness program to prevent sexual violence in the hospitality industry. The interactive and informative online training, funded by the province of Ontario (Ontario Women’s Directorate) will be available starting November 30, 2017.
The hospitality sector employs approximately 450,000 individuals in Ontario and many are frontline workers in restaurants, bars, hotels and motels who may be in a position to intervene in sexually violent situations. The sector also includes a large number of youth, females, and newcomers who are also vulnerable to sexual violence and harassment in the workplace. 
Under Bill 132 it is a legal responsibility to develop sexual harassment policies. 

Here are 5 tips to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace:

  1. Have a policy around sexual harassment posted. Make it clear that your workplace has zero tolerance for this type of behaviour. Review Bill 132 to know your legal obligations.
  2. Encourage employees to stand up to sexual harassment and let them know that they can talk about it and have your support should problems arise.
  3. Conduct a “health check” of your organization. The fact that employees or customers aren’t reporting sexual harassment or assault doesn’t mean it is not happening.
  4. Provide employees opportunities to confidentially share their experiences through surveys, assessments or informal investigations.
  5. Take the It’s Your Shift Training - If you are a manager, are working in the hospitality industry or an educator, how can you get involved? Starting November 30, 2017, the “It’s Your Shift” training and awareness program will be available to all hospitality businesses, workers and students at no cost. By taking this training, or incorporating it into your workplace training program, you have the opportunity to become a leader in ensuring patron and workplace safety, and ultimately, diminishing sexual violence.


Join the conversation at #ITSYOURSHIFT


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