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Intimidation, discrimination, and harassment

Despite the increased presence of women in the construction industry, some may still experience situations of intimidation, discrimination, or sex-related harassment.

Here are resources made available to women to help them resolve the problems encountered.

Do not hesitate to contact Customer Services in order to contact the Service d’accompagnement pour l’intégration des femmes dans l’industrie de la construction.

Adequate sanitary facilities on sites

In June 2015, the Safety Code for the Construction Industry was amended to mandate that sanitary facilities be installed on all construction sites in Québec. If there are 25 or more workers on the site, a flush toilet must be made available to workers. For smaller sites, a chemical toilet must be available to workers at all times. Individuals who have a particular issue with this subject may contact their union representative. They may also contact the Service d’information générale of the CNESST, at 1 844 838-0808 or via its website.

Construire en santé

The Construire en santé program offers people insured under MÉDIC Construction, the industry’s insurance plan, different services aiming to resolve physical and psychological problems. If an insured person wants to obtain psychological or physical support, he or she may communicate with a nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1 800 807-2433. The nurse will assess the individual’s situation and direct him or her toward the appropriate assistance resources.

Psychological harassment on the job

If an individual feels that he or she is being subjected to psychological harassment on the job by colleagues, the employer, the employer’s representatives or directors, or any other person present on the site, this individual may submit a grievance against the employer. In fact, the employer must take reasonable measures to prevent psychological harassment or to make it stop when brought to its attention. The union association may help in this respect. A person experiencing harassment should not hesitate to contact his or her union association.

In Québec, psychological harassment also includes sexual harassment. For more details on what may constitute psychological harassment, you may visit the website of the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

If the situation does not change, the individual may also present a claim under the Act Respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases in order to determine whether the psychological harassment to which he or she had been subjected constitutes an employment injury.

The court may then issue decrees concerning compensation for lost wages, punitive and moral damages, and funding of the psychological support required by the victim. Visit the CNESST’s website to obtain more information.

Victims of discrimination

Discrimination in hiring

If an employer refuses to hire an individual because she is a woman, this is sexual discrimination in hiring.

In this case, the woman may make a complaint to the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse. Consult this organization’s website  for more details.

Discrimination in employment

If you feel that you have been the victim of discrimination by your employer in terms of apprenticeship, working conditions, promotions, work terminations, or other actions, you should know that no employer or person acting on the employer’s behalf may take discriminatory actions against an individual on the basis of her sex.

Two sort of recourse are available to you depending on the nature of the discrimination: make a grievance against the employer or makea complaint in this regard to the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse.

It is also possible to consult your union association.

Victims of physical or sexual assault

All gestures and forms of sexual assault are criminal acts.

If you are the victim of a sexual assault, at the workplace or elsewhere, it is important to contact the police quickly and to go as quickly as possible to the emergency room of a hospital in order to obtain the care required.

If you have witnessed a sexual assault, it is essential to report it quickly.

There are a number of resources available to help. Consult the website www.agressionssexuelles.gouv.qc.ca.