OTTAWA – The House of Commons is not sitting this week, but a committee of MPs has convened on Parliament Hill for a series of meetings on the government's anti-harassment legislation, including hearing from people who have personally experienced workplace harassment or sexual misconduct.

Over two days of hearings, the Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities Committee is hearing from a variety of federally-regulated sectors on Bill C-65.

The meetings began Wednesday at noon, with an in-camera meeting where the committee members heard confidential testimony from people who have lived personal experience with workplace harassment, committee chair Liberal MP Bryan May's office confirmed.

Ahead of the study getting underway, the committee passed a motion to include at least one private meeting where federal employees or employers could discuss their personal experiences with workplace harassment or sexual violence, as part of its study.

Because the committee is keeping confidential who exactly they are hearing from, it is not expected to be known what testimony those who appear will have to offer. In discussing this aspect of the study earlier this month, Deputy Government House Leader Chris Bittle said these witnesses could include Hill staffers, interns, and members of Parliament.

The proposed legislation would give federally regulated workers and their employers a clear course of action to deal with allegations of bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct, exerting more pressure on companies to combat unacceptable behaviour and punish those who don't take it seriously.

The changes will merge separate labour standards for sexual harassment and violence and subject them to the same scrutiny and dispute resolution process, which could include having an outside investigator brought in to review allegations.

Wednesday, the committee also heard from the Canada Border Services Agency; the Correctional Service of Canada; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; the Treasury Board Secretariat; the Department of Employment and Social Development; and the Department of Public Works and Government Services.

Thursday, MPs are hearing from the Airline Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees; the Canadian Labour Congress; the Canadian Union of Postal Workers; the Public Service Alliance of Canada; Teamsters Canada; Canada Post; and others.

According to the motion passed by the committee spelling out its study plans, the committee still intends to hear from witnesses on the environment for parliamentary employees; from human resources experts; and organizations with expertise on addressing sexual misconduct.

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patty Hadju and her departmental officials appeared before the committee to discuss Bill C-65 on Feb. 12

"I'm very much looking forward to hearing the committee's views on how we can strengthen the legislation," Hajdu told the committee.

Stakeholders have until March 5 to offer the committee a written submission if they will not be testifying but still want to offer feedback on the proposed new regime.

It is expected the committee will wrap up hearing from witnesses and move to considering amendments on the bill by March 19.