Non-disclosure agreements will no longer be allowed in Ontario, making it impossible for teachers to conceal a history of sexual misconduct when applying to other institutions or universities.
The law, which Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop introduced on Thursday, will also give schools the authority to remove faculty members who have been found to have harmed a student and prevent them from being hired again.
The government stated that the bill would “strengthen the tools available to institutions to address instances of faculty or staff sexual misconduct against students (i.e., deeming sexual abuse) while also allowing the institutions to better address complaints when they arise.” It would also amend the current legislation governing public colleges and universities as well as that for private career colleges.
Additionally, it will prohibit the use of nondisclosure agreements to deal with situations when a person departs from one institution to work at another school while their earlier misbehaviour is kept a secret.
According to the law, a faculty or staff member who is fired for sexual misbehaviour is not entitled to a notice period or any other form of compensation.
The province changed its laws a year ago so that students who report sexual assault or harassment to their school cannot be questioned about their past sexual behaviour or punished for speaking up, as some students were for breaking the school’s drug or alcohol rules when they were hurt.