Randy Slepchik had the chance to speak with CBC Morning Live about the importance of collaboration in the disability accommodation process and how disability accommodation is part of creating a more just society:

Discussion begins around the 2:20 mark:


Reach Canada presents this not-to-be missed seminar, and our own Randy Slepchik will be there to help unpack the legal framework behind addiction issues in the workplace and entitlement to disability benefits. He will also discuss the best practices and strategies for assisting employees with disabilities whether as their lawyer or when assisting a colleague in the workplace.

Addressing this issue from a medical perspective will be Psychologist Matthew Rippeyoung, who will discuss the shift in how substance use and abuse is conceptualized, the variety of treatment approaches, how to support a person struggling with substance use and information about local treatment options.

Date: Tuesday April 25 at  11 am to 1 pm (bring your own lunch, refreshments available)
Location: 601 Cumberland, University of Ottawa campus, second floor above Café Nostalgica. Fully Accessible.
Register:  reach.ca

This program is accredited by the Law Society of Upper Canada and contains  2  Professionalism Hour(s).


On September 8, 2016, Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment) came into effect and introduced significant legislative changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act.  This article sets out a very brief summary of the key legislative amendments and accompanying policy initiatives.

OHSA Amendments

As a result of these legislative reforms, the definition of “workplace violence” in the OHSA has been amended to include “sexual harassment” and new obligations have been imposed on employers including:

An obligation to develop a workplace harassment program aimed at preventing harassment in the workplace, including sexual harassment. This program must be developed and maintained in consultation with any joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative;

The Act also makes it clear however that, “reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the workplace is not workplace harassment.”

In anticipation of these legislative changes, the Ministry of Labour published a Code of Practice to Address Workplace Harassment under the OHSA which sets out guidelines for employers to follow in order to ensure compliance with the Act and provides sample policiesThe Code is available online here: https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/harassment/

Amendments to the Universities Act

The Universities Act has also been amended to include the following definition of “sexual violence”:

“sexual violence” means any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent, and includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism and sexual exploitation.

In addition, every college of applied arts and technology and every university in the province that receives regular and ongoing operating funds from the government for the purposes of post-secondary education is required to develop a sexual violence policy that includes a complaint process, considers student input in developing the policy, regularly reviews the policy and reports sexual violence statistics to the Minister.

Sexual Violence and Harassment Training Projects for Frontline Workers

Coincident with the legislative amendments coming into force, the Province also announced $1.7 million in funding for 6 sexual violence and harassment training projects for frontline workers:

Training will be developed for frontline workers and management in the hospitality sector to recognize and intervene when they witness harassment in the workplace;

Article: Alison Longmore

Image credit: “Survivors in the Sun” by Wolfram Burner.  Via Flickr Creative Commons licence