Blog Post #1502 – Union Gets Paid for Domestic-Violence Leave

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (January 2017)

A new three-year agreement between a long-term care centre and United Steelworkers (USW) local 1-207, now allows employees of the Rivercrest Care Centre in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, to take paid time off for legal, medical and therapeutic reasons if they are domestic-violence victims.

A statement the union sent out on January 19, 2017, says the domestic-violence leave also resulted from the USW National Women’s Committee anti-violence initiative. “New provisions on domestic-violence leave are an important precedent because domestic and sexual violence is still a problem,” Local 1-207 president Ray White says. “We are doing something about domestic violence by negotiating leave provisions at the bargaining table.”

USW Canada director Steve Hunt says he is “proud” of the union for having taken action against violence. “If we can get more employers adding leave provisions, provincial governments will have to follow suit, so all employees will have these protections.”

My opinion

In 2010, Ontario created occupational anti-violence and anti-harassment to deal with what was deemed a top 5 issue.

In 2007, stakeholders, from many sectors, were contacted and asked to contribute to a panel asking for the top 10 workplace hazards that they feel need to be addressed. Some of these stakeholders would include: businesses, unions, organizations among others. Violence concerns and harassment issues were deemed to be at, or near, the top of the list.

Sections 32.0.1 to 32.0.8, of the Ontario OHSA, were added to deal with the issues. (2010)

32.0.1 Policies, violence and harassment
32.0.2 Program, violence
32.0.3 Assessment of risks of violence
32.0.4 Domestic violence
32.0.5 Duties re violence
32.0.6 Program, harassment
32.0.7 Duties re harassment
32.0.8 Information and instruction, harassment


As the reader can see, 32.0.4 deals with Domestic Violence and the maximum personal fines are now $500,000 and company fines stand at $1,500,000 maximum.

It is to the benefit of all to follow a policy and procedure, and create a discrete window of opportunity for workers, affected by domestic violence, to come forth without expecting any personal bias.

Clare’s Law – People at risk of domestic violence have the right to get information about potentially harmful intimate partners. (Alberta)

Please review, for more details.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs, including “Violence” and “Harassment”.

Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.


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