Psychological Harassment Laws

Please note that the following information was taken from different websites and the information may have changed, be inaccurate or modified, or out of date.

Quebec France Sweden

Quebec a province of Canada

(June 1st, 2004)

for the actual website please click here: Commission des normes du travail Quebec


Sect. 81.18

For the purposes of this Act, “psychological harassment” means any vexatious behaviour in the form of repeated and hostile or unwanted conduct, verbal comments, actions or gestures, that affects an employee’s dignity or psychological or physical integrity and that results in a harmful work environment for the employee.

Vexatious behaviour
A single serious incidence of such behaviour that has a lasting harmful effect on an employee may also constitute psychological harassment.
2002, c. 80, s. 47.

Sect. 81.19

Right of the employee
Every employee has a right to a work environment free from psychological harassment.

Duty of employers
Employers must take reasonable action to prevent psychological harassment and, whenever they become aware of such behaviour, to put a stop to it.
2002, c. 80, s. 47.

Sect. 81.20

Collective agreement
The provisions of sections 81.18, 81.19, 123.7, 123.15 and 123.16, with the necessary modifications, are deemed to be an integral part of every collective agreement. An employee covered by such an agreement must exercise the recourses provided for in the agreement, insofar as any such recourse is available to employees under the agreement.

At any time before the case is taken under advisement, a joint application may be made by the parties to such an agreement to the Minister for the appointment of a person to act as a mediator.

Employees not governed by a collective agreement
The provisions referred to in the first paragraph are deemed to form part of the conditions of employment of every employee appointed under the Public Service Act (chapter F-3.1.1) who is not governed by a collective agreement. Such an employee must exercise the applicable recourse before the Commission de la fonction publique according to the rules of procedure established pursuant to that Act. The Commission de la fonction publique exercises for that purpose the powers provided for in sections 123.15 and 123.16 of this Act.

Members and officers of bodies
The third paragraph also applies to the members and officers of bodies.
2002, c. 80, s. 47.

for the complete or more sections and details click here


for the actual website please click here: Ministere Du Travail

MORAL HARASSMENT (Le harcèlement moral)

Articles L. 122-49 à L. 122-51 (principes), L. 122-52 (charge de la preuve), L. 122-53 (rôle des organisations syndicales), L. 122-54 (médiation) du Code du travail Article 222-33-2 du Code pénal (sanctions)


Defined by the Labour Code; Moral harassment is manifested by repeated gestures that have the goal or effect of degrading the working conditions and that are susceptible of violating a persons rights at work and his dignity, effect his physical or mental or compromises his professional career. The author being: an employer, a staff member, a colleague of the victim…

(more to come soon)


for the actual website please click here: Swedish Work Environment

(March 31st, 1994)


Ordinance of the National Board of Occupational Safety and Health
containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work,
together with General Recommendations on the implementation of
the Provisions.

Adopted 21st September 1993

AFS 1993:17

Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of
Occupational Safety and Health containing
Provisions on measures against

Victimization at Work

Adopted 21st September 1993
The following Provisions are issued by the National Board of Occupational Safety
and Health pursuant to Section 18 of the Work Environment Ordinance (SFS

Scope and definitions

Section 1
These Provisions apply to all activities in which employees can be subjected to
victimization. By victimization is meant recurrent reprehensible or distinctly
negative actions which are directed against individual employees in an offensive
manner and can result in those employees being placed outside the workplace

General provisions

Section 2
The employer should plan and organize work so as to prevent victimization as far
as possible.

Section 3
The employer shall make clear that victimization cannot be accepted in the


Section 4
AFS 1993:17

In the activities there shall be routines for the early detection of signs of, and the
rectification of such unsatisfactory working conditions, problems of work
organization or deficiencies of co-operation as can provide a basis for

Section 5
If signs of victimization become apparent, counter-measures shall without delay be
taken and followed up. In doing so, a special investigation shall be made to
ascertain whether the causes of shortcomings of co-operation are to be found in the
way in which work is organized.

Section 6
Employees who are subjected to victimization shall quickly be given help or
support. The employer shall have special routines for this.

Entry into force

These Provisions enter into force on 31st March 1994.

Guidance on individual Sections


Guidance on Section 1
Victimization in the form of various kinds of reprehensible behaviour can be
committed both by employees and by the employer personally or his

The phenomena commonly referred to, for example, as adult bullying, mental
violence, social rejection and harassment - including sexual harassment - have come to be seen more and more as problems of working life in their own right and
will be collectively referred to here as victimization.

These are difficult and sensitive problems. What is more, they can have serious and
harmful effects on individual employees and on entire working groups if carelessly
assessed and handled. Harmful effects on exposed persons may be revealed by both
mental and physical pathological states - sometimes chronic - and also by social
rejection from working life and the workplace community.

The following are some instances of victimization:

- Slandering or maligning an employee or his/her family.

- Deliberately withholding work-related information or supplying incorrect
information of this kind.

AFS 1993:17

- Deliberately sabotaging or impeding the performance of work.

- Obviously insulting ostracism, boycott or disregard of the employee.

- Persecution in various forms, threats and the inspiration of fear,
degradation, e.g. sexual harassment.

- Deliberate insults, hypercritical or negative response or attitudes
(ridicule, unfriendliness etc.).

- Supervision of the employee without his/her knowledge and with harmful

- Offensive "administrative penal sanctions" which are suddenly directed
against an individual employee without any objective cause, explanations
or efforts at jointly solving any underlying problems. The sanctions may,
for example, take the form of groundless withdrawal of an office or
duties, unexplained transfers or overtime requirements, manifest
obstruction in the processing of applications for training, leave of absence
and suchlike.

Offensive administrative sanctions are, by definition, deliberately carried out in
such a way that they can be taken as a profound personal insult or as an abusive
power and are liable to cause high, prolonged stress or other abnormal and
hazardous mental strains on the individual.

The attitudes involved in offensive acts are, briefly, characterized by gross lack of
respect and offend against general principles of honourable and moral behaviour
towards other people. The actions have a negative effect, in both the short and long
term, on individuals and also on entire working groups.

For the sake of clarity, it should be added that occasional differences of opinion,
conflicts and problems in working relations generally should be regarded as normal
phenomenas - always provided, of course, that the mutual attitudes and actions
connected with the problems are not intended to harm or deliberately offend any
person. Victimization does not occur until personal conflicts lose their reciprocity
and respect for people's right to personal integrity slips into unethical actions of the
kind mentioned above and individual employees are dangerously affected as a

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