[author: Dana Hooker]
The British Columbia legislature recently tabled amendments to Bill 14 — the WORKERS COMPENSATION AMENDMENT ACT, 2011 — to address bullying and harassment in the workplace. The amendments to Bill 14, among other things, expand workers’ compensation to expressly address mental disorders caused by significant work-related stressors such as bullying and harassment. In addition, WorkSafeBC, the entity tasked with the administration of the Workers’ Compensation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996 c. 492, will, in consultation with stakeholders, be amending and updating its existing workplace violence policies and procedures to deal specifically with claims of bullying and harassment. It is anticipated that these amendments will include a requirement for employers to implement formal prevention plans. Bill 14 had its second reading in the legislature on May 3 and is not yet law.