Workplace harassment is a serious issue that affects many Canadians every year. It can come in different forms, such as bullying, verbal abuse, or unwanted advances, and it can have a disastrous impact on an individual's well-being and their ability to perform their jobs effectively.

Understanding the prevalence and nature of workplace harassment is essential for creating safer and more inclusive work environments for everyone.

Organizations and policymakers rely on accurate statistics to identify patterns, assess the effectiveness of existing policies and interventions, and implement targeted strategies to prevent workplace harassment

By raising awareness of workplace harassment statistics in Canada, we can promote dialogue, promote accountability, and advocate for meaningful change. 

Together, we can work towards creating work environments where everyone feels respected, valued, and safe from harassment.

Workplace Harassment Statistics in Canada


Workplace harassment has become a common issue affecting individuals across Canada. Understanding its prevalence, impacts, and reporting trends is essential for creating safer work environments.

Overall Incidence Rates

Understanding the overall incidence rates of workplace harassment in Canada provides essential insights into the prevalence and scope of this issue. 

By examining recent trends and changes in incidence rates, researchers and policymakers can track shifts in the prevalence of workplace harassment over time. 

Here are some of the statistical factors related to workplace harassment incident  rates in Canada according to the report by the Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics


Among employed individuals aged 25 to 34:

  1. 60% of women and 39% of men reported experiencing workplace harassment or sexual assault.

  2. The prevalence of inappropriate sexualized behaviors was reported by 57% of women and 37% of men in this age group.

In the 12 months preceding the data collection (2019):

  1. Persistently high proportions were reported by women (39%) and men (23%) aged 25 to 34.

  2. Individuals aged 15 to 24 reported the highest rates.

  3. 43% of women and 25% of men in this younger age group experienced workplace harassment or sexual assault during the same period.

Gender Disparities

Gender disparities in workplace harassment highlight the differential experiences of men and women in Canadian workplaces. 

Women are disproportionately affected by harassment, experiencing higher rates of verbal abuse, physical violence, and unwanted sexual attention compared to men. 

Factors such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability also reported the experiences of discrimination. 

According to Statistics Canada's Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics:

31% of men and 47% of women disclosed experiencing harassment or sexual assault in the workplace at some point.

Among women:


  1. The highest proportion (44%) reported encountering inappropriate sexualized behaviors in the workplace.
  2. This was followed by discriminatory behaviors, with 20% of women reporting such experiences.

  3. Sexual assault was reported by 13% of women in a workplace setting.

Understanding these disparities is crucial for developing inclusive policies and practices that address the unique needs of diverse populations and foster equitable and respectful work environments for all.

Reporting Trends


Exploring reporting trends in workplace harassment sheds light on the factors influencing individuals' decisions to report incidents. 

As per the reports of the Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics, 1 in 2 women (47%) and approximately 3 in 10 men (31%) have reported experiencing harassment or sexual assault in the workplace at some point.


Barriers to reporting, such as fear of retaliation, lack of trust in organizational response mechanisms, and stigma associated with harassment, can contribute to underreporting and skew statistical data. 

By identifying and addressing these barriers, organizations can create supportive reporting structures that encourage individuals to come forward with their experiences and access necessary support and resources. 

Analyzing reporting trends helps organizations assess the effectiveness of their response protocols and identify areas for improvement, ultimately enhancing transparency, accountability, and trust within the workplace.

Impact on Employee Productivity and Well-being


The impact of workplace harassment on employee productivity and well-being is profound and multifaceted. 

Individuals who experience harassment often suffer from increased stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, leading to decreased job satisfaction, engagement, and performance. 

Moreover, the economic consequences of workplace harassment extend beyond the individual level, affecting organizational productivity, morale, and reputation. 

According to the Canadian Labor Court survey results

  1. 70% of workers who experienced harassment and violence had to miss work because of the adverse effects.

  2. 88% of workers who experienced harassment and violence were “transferred, suspended, fired, or lost a shift” due to the harassment and violence.

  3. 1 in 4 who reported said that reporting made the situation worse.

By understanding the long-term effects of harassment on employee well-being and organizational outcomes, employers can implement proactive measures to prevent and address harassment, fostering healthier and more productive work environments for all.

What Is Canada Ranked in Workplace Aggression?


Canada has been ranked prominently in global assessments regarding workplace aggression. According to a survey by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Canada secured the fourth position in the world rankings for workplace aggression. 

This ranking focuses on the prevalence and significance of workplace harassment, highlighting that it is a severe issue in Canadian workplaces. 

There are different types of workplace harassment, ranging from verbal abuse and bullying to physical violence. All of these types can negatively affect employee well-being, organizational culture, and productivity. 

The ILO survey's findings highlight the need for proactive measures to promote safer and healthier work environments across Canada. 

Employers, policymakers, and stakeholders must collaborate to develop comprehensive policies and initiatives to address workplace aggression by identifying early symptoms of workplace harassment

This may involve implementing anti-bullying and harassment policies, training on conflict resolution and communication skills, and fostering a culture of respect and inclusion within organizations.

Raising awareness about the prevalence and consequences of workplace aggression is essential for fostering a collective commitment to change. 

By acknowledging Canada's ranking in workplace aggression and its implications for individuals and organizations, stakeholders can mobilize efforts to prioritize workplace safety and well-being.

Canada's ranking in workplace aggression serves as a call to action for all stakeholders to work collaboratively toward creating healthier, more supportive, and respectful work environments. 

How Often Does Workplace Violence Occur in Canada?


Workplace violence is a concerning issue in Canada, with statistics indicating that it occurs with alarming frequency. 

According to the Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence, approximately 1 in 5 violent incidents, including physical assault, sexual assault, and robbery, take place in the workplace. This statistic highlights the prevalence of violence in Canadian workplaces.

It's important to note that workplace violence isn't confined to traditional office spaces alone. It can occur in various settings associated with work-related activities. 

For instance, incidents may occur offsite during work-related functions such as conferences, training sessions, trade shows, or social events. 

Workplace violence can extend to settings outside the traditional workspace, such as clients' homes or other locations where employees engage in work-related activities. 

Even situations like receiving threatening phone calls at home from clients can be considered instances of workplace violence.

These findings highlight the destructive nature of workplace violence, indicating that it can occur in various environments and under different circumstances. 

Understanding the broad scope of workplace violence is essential for developing comprehensive strategies to prevent and address such incidents effectively. 

What Is the Fastest Growing Type of Workplace Violence in Canada?


Verbal violence is identified as the fastest-growing type of workplace violence in Canada.

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in workplace violence in Canada, with verbal violence emerging as the most rapidly increasing type. 

This statement is based on data provided by Canadian Lawyers, which indicates a rising prevalence of verbal abuse incidents in the Canadian workplace.

According to the report, verbal abuse has become the most common form of harassment in Canadian workplaces. 

Approximately 13% of women and 10% of men reported experiencing verbal abuse, making it the leading type of harassment documented. 

This trend suggests a concerning escalation in the frequency of verbal violence incidents in work environments across the country.

Following closely behind verbal abuse is humiliating behavior, which is reported by 6% of women and 5% of men

While still prevalent, this form of harassment appears to be slightly less common than verbal abuse, indicating a shifting dynamic in the types of workplace violence experienced by Canadian workers.

The data also highlights gender disparities in the types of harassment reported. Women are more likely to report experiencing sexual harassment at work, with 4% of women compared to only 1% of men reporting such incidents. 

This discrepancy highlights the importance of considering gender-specific experiences when addressing workplace violence and implementing appropriate prevention and intervention measures.

What Is the Recent Annual Number of Canadians Reporting Workplace Violence?

In 2021, a total of 4,950 occurrences of harassment and violence were reported by 501 employers from federally regulated industry sectors in Canada. 

These reports were submitted through the Employer's Annual Report on Harassment and Violence Prevention (EAHVOR) system, which provides insights into the prevalence of workplace violence across various sectors.

According to the Government of Canada’s 2021 annual report on harassment, among reported workplace harassment occurrences, 3,777 incidents, accounting for 76.3% of the total, stemmed from major industry sectors: 

  1. Federal Public Services

  2. Public Service Departments and Crown Corporations (PUBS)

  3. Banking and Banks (BANK) 

  4. Road Transportation (ROAD)

  5. Air Transportation (AIRT)

  6. Construction

  7. Postal Services and Postal Contractors (POST)

These sectors significantly contribute to the overall number of reported incidents and represent some of Canada's largest federally regulated employers.

While a substantial number of occurrences were reported, there were no fatalities related to harassment and violence reported to the Labour Program through the EAHVOR system for the specified period.

The data highlight the importance of monitoring and addressing workplace violence to ensure the safety and well-being of Canadian employees. 

Have the Majority of Canadian Workers Experienced Workplace Violence at Least One Time in Their Career?

Based on the provided information, it appears that the majority of Canadian workers have indeed experienced workplace violence at least once in their careers. 

According to a survey from the Canadian Labour Congress and the Western University Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children, 7 in 10 workers in Canada have encountered some form of harassment and violence during their employment. 

This includes various types of harassment and violence, categorized into three primary forms:

  1. Non-sexual harassment and violence

  2. Sexual harassment and violence

  3. Online harassment and violence

In the past two years alone, a significant portion of respondents reported experiencing these forms of harassment and violence while at work. 

Specifically, 65% of respondents reported experiencing non-sexual harassment and violence, indicating that a substantial proportion of Canadian workers have encountered such behavior. 

Additionally, 43.9% of respondents reported experiencing at least one form of sexual harassment and violence, highlighting the prevalence of this issue in Canadian workplaces. 

Moreover, 26.5% of respondents reported experiencing work-related online harassment, indicating another concerning aspect of workplace violence that impacts a significant portion of workers.

These statistics suggest that workplace violence, including various forms of harassment, is a widespread issue in Canada, affecting a majority of workers at some point in their careers. 

Which Canadian Province Has the Narrowest Definition of Workplace Violence and Aggression?


Nova Scotia is the Canadian province with the narrowest definition of workplace violence and aggression. 

In Nova Scotia, the Occupational Health and Safety Act defines violence as acts of aggression that cause or could cause injury to an employee. Still, it does not explicitly address broader forms of aggression or psychological harm that are included in the definitions used by other provinces, like Ontario, Manitoba, and Quebec. 

This narrower scope means that certain acts of workplace aggression that might be covered in other provinces may not be recognized as such in Nova Scotia.

Final Word

Workplace harassment statistics in Canada paint a concerning picture of the prevalence and impact of this issue in various industries and sectors. 

With approximately 7 in 10 workers experiencing some form of harassment or violence at work, it is evident that workplace harassment remains a pervasive problem that demands urgent attention.

The data reveal that women are proportionately affected by workplace harassment, with higher rates of reported incidents compared to men, particularly in terms of sexual harassment and unwanted attention. 

It's essential to recognize that workplace harassment can manifest in various forms, including discrimination, bullying, cyber harassment, verbal abuse, and physical violence, affecting individuals regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, or occupation.

These statistics underscore the importance of implementing proactive measures to prevent and address workplace harassment effectively. 

Employers must prioritize creating safe and inclusive work environments where all employees feel respected, valued, and protected from harassment and violence.

Effective strategies for addressing workplace harassment include:

  1. Implementing clear policies and procedures that define unacceptable behavior and outline reporting mechanisms.

  2. Providing Workplace Violence and Harassment Awareness Training to equip employees with the skills to recognize and respond to harassment.

  3. Establishing supportive reporting and investigation processes that prioritize victims' well-being and ensure perpetrators' accountability.

  4. Fostering a culture of respect, diversity, and inclusion through leadership commitment, communication, and role modeling.

  5. Continuously monitoring and evaluating workplace dynamics to identify and address potential sources of harassment.

By taking proactive steps to prevent and address workplace harassment, organizations can create safer, healthier, and more productive work environments for all employees.