NAWL speaks out on the issue of sexual violence in the workplace

25 March 2024
March 25, 2024

On January 31st, 2024, NAWL submitted a brief to the Committee on Labour and the Economy of the National Assembly of Quebec concerning Bill 42, an Act to prevent and fight psychological harassment and sexual violence in the workplace 

A Statistics Canada survey found that nearly one in two adults say they have witnessed or experienced sexual violence in their work environment in the year prior to the survey. This is an issue of extreme importance. 

We made the following recommendations:  

  1. Provide mandatory training to prevent sexual violence in the workplace; 
  2. Ban non-disclosure agreements; 
  3. Prevent retaliation against victims in the form of defamation lawsuits; 
  4. Enable the dissemination of essential information to ensure the safety of employees; 
  5. Protect victims’ remedies with more lenient deadlines; 
  6. Guarantee, as in other provinces, paid leave for employees who experience sexual violence; 
  7. Expand the definition of sexual violence.  

What survivors of sexual violence want more than anything else is to have a voice” – Sexual violence expert consulted by the National Association of Women and the Law  

On March 21st, the bill was adopted. We regret that our recommendations have not been included and hope that the government will continue to address the issue of sexual violence in the workplace. In particular, it is essential to prohibit non-disclosure agreements used in out-of-court settlements to prevent victims from speaking about their experience. 

Read our full submission below (in French only).   

ANFD - mémoire sur le PL 42
about NAWL
The National Association of Women and the Law is a not-for-profit feminist organization that promotes the equality rights of women through legal education, research and law reform advocacy.
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