Workplace Sexual Harassment

Harassment and Workplace Violence Policy Manual

The federal policy manual is governed by more detailed requirements of the Canada Labour Code and is presently distinctly below.

Harassment and Workplace Violence Policy 1


This policy is established to protect our employees from harassment and workplace violence. It applies to all employees, contractors whether they be full-time or part- time. For greater certainty, “workplace violence” is deemed to include “workplace sexual harassment”.

“Workplace sexual harassment” is defined as:

  1. Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of conduct is known or reasonably known to be unwelcome;
  2. Making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.

Our company maintains a zero tolerance view to harassment, discrimination and workplace violence in the exercise of your active duties in the workplace or in connection with any work activity no matter where you may be. All reported incidents of harassment, discrimination and workplace violence shall be considered seriously and will be diligently and promptly investigated. Appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action will be taken, as may be required in the circumstances.

Management employees are responsible for creating and maintaining a workplace which is free from harassment, discrimination, violence and sexual harassment. Management must take steps to ensure that harassment, discrimination and violence are not allowed. Should management not do so, such person or persons may be considering to be abetting the wrongdoing.

This policy governs three types of offensive conduct, namely, (1) Personal Harassment, (2) Violations of the Human Rights Code, including sexual harassment and (3) Workplace Violence.


The day to day carrying out of management responsibilities is expected to be conducted in a professional and courteous manner. Any improper conduct such as words or conduct of coercion such as bullying, misuse of authority by hostile conduct, comments, e-mails, gestures that may objectively reasonably affect a person’s dignity or self-respect will result in harmful workplace environment will not be tolerated.

Harassment will not include performance evaluations, direction or discipline given by management. It is to be expected that there may be occasional tension between respective views of workplace incidents in the course of accomplishing relevant objectives, which will not be considered to be harassment.


The protected grounds of discrimination under the {relevant human rights statute} are race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, age, record of offences, marital status, family status, disability sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

We expect every employee to honour the principles enshrined in the Human Rights Code and to respect one another and ensure equal treatment to all employees. We insist that conduct which is contrary to the Code will be reported to management.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct which includes words spoken, conduct, physical contact which is objectively seen as unwelcome. It includes the solicitation of sexual favours from a person in a position of power to grant or deny a benefit.

Offensive action includes a reprisal taken against a person for the making of a complaint whether or not the underlying complaint is upheld, as long as the complaint is made in good faith.

Actions against a person based on a perceived human rights protected right is also offensive whether or not such person belongs to such a protected right. For example, if a person is denied a promotion due to a perception that he or she is homosexual and is not, there has still been conduct which is offensive.

Offensive conduct includes racial or ethnic slurs, jokes referring to minority groups, comments referring in an insulting manner to a person’s age, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, accent, disability or any other protected human right.

Posters or calendars displaying women or men in sexual light will not be tolerated.


Any incident in which an employee is threatened, coerced, abused, bullied or is injured relating to a workplace issue whether such event occurs within the physical premises of the company or elsewhere is covered by this policy. The offensive conduct may be oral, written, communicated digitally or by the physical gestures or physical acts of the wrongdoer.

Every employee is expected to report to management each incident of workplace violence of which he or she is aware.


The company wishes to ensure its dedication to the establishment of a safe workplace which is free from threats or acts of violence. All reported incidents will be thoroughly investigated. Assistance and support will be provided to all victims of offensive conduct. Any person found to have acted in contravention of this policy will be held strictly accountable for his or her actions. Disciplinary action will be taken against any such offender up to and including summary termination of employment.

The Director of Human Resources is designated as the Coordinator of this Workplace Violence Policy and is responsible for the management and direction of this Policy.


An adversely affected employee has several options at his or her disposal. He or she may first advise the offender that the behaviour in question is offensive and request that he or she cease such action.

Alternatively, or in addition to step 1 above when step 1 has not caused the offensive conduct to cease, a formal letter of complaint made be made to the Director of Human Resources. This letter should identify the specifics of the alleged wrongdoing, the name of the offender, any steps taken by the victim to request this conduct cease prior to the filing of the complaint. The names of any likely witnesses should also be provided.

Should the suspected wrongdoer be the Director of Human Resources, the complaint should be directed to the {Vice-President of Finance}.

In the case of a complaint made of sexual harassment, the identity of the complainant will not be revealed, save where in the opinion of the investigator it is necessary to do so for the purposes of the investigation and/or in the opinion of senior management in taking any required corrective action, or otherwise required by law.

In all other complaints, the complainant should be aware that the due and fair process of the investigation will require that the alleged wrongdoer be advised of the complaint and the name of the complainant. The complaint will not otherwise be publicized within the company. Senior management will be aware of the essence of the complaint including the names of the relevant parties.

It is expected that the victim will advise the witnesses that their names will be provided to management, although this is not mandated. Witnesses should be encouraged to avoid discussion with one another and the complainant of their respective evidences as this may taint their independent recall of the relevant events.

If the suspected wrongdoing is contrary to the {relevant human rights statute}, nothing in this Policy is intended to dissuade the victim from the filing of a complaint with the {relevant human rights tribunal}. The victim should be aware that there is a 12 month time period {amend as appropriate} from the last alleged wrongdoing to file such a complaint.

Should the alleged offensive action be an apparent violation of the Criminal Code, such as a physical assault or a sexual assault, the victim is at liberty at any time to contact the relevant police force for the purposes of a criminal investigation.

The complainant is also free to contact independent legal counsel to discuss civil or other remedies. Nothing in this Policy is to be interpreted as an impediment to so doing.

The complainant should keep current notes and all relevant documentation. A good practice is to email notes to yourself to ensure an accurate time stamp to prove the contemporaneous nature of the notes.


The Director of Human Resources will appoint a neutral person to conduct an impartial investigation of the issues in dispute. The investigator will advise the alleged offender of the nature of the allegations made against him or her.

The investigator will interview persons who are expected to have knowledge of the matters in issue. Likely witnesses should not discuss their respective recall of the relevant events prior to their respective interview with one another. The investigator may determine the order of witnesses which he or she may choose to interview.

The investigator may or may not chose to interview the complainant and the relevant witnesses following his interview of the offender.

The investigator will then prepare a final report advising as to the nature of the subject investigated and his or her findings, including findings of wrongdoing or none. This report will be given to the Director of Human Resources who will provide a copy of same to the complainant and the alleged offender. The investigator may (1) uphold the complaint, or (2) dismiss the complaint, and/or (3) in such case find that the complaint was made in bad faith.

The investigator does not have authority to make recommendations as to proper discipline to be imposed in any of the above conclusions. The Director of Human Resources maintains the right to impose whatever discipline may be imposed in the context of the finding of wrongdoing. The company will take disciplinary steps as it deems appropriate against any person under its direction who has subjected any employee to sexual harassment.

The alleged harasser will be advised of any corrective action and/or discipline as required and the accuser will be so notified in writing. 2


The process outlined above is intended to be fair to both parties. It is not, however, a judicial process. {-optional - Lawyers are not allowed to participate directly in the investigative process.} Each party may choose to see external legal advice of their respective choice with respect to the issues and this process.


Should a complaint be found to have been made in bad faith, the original complainant will be subject to discipline as the Director of Human Resources may determine appropriate.


This policy shall be located in a location accessible to all employees and posted in a conspicuous place in the workplace. All employees will be advised of their right to access and have copies of this policy. 3

This policy shall be reviewed as required and at least annually by the employer in consultation with a health and safety representative. {where appropriate}


Each employee should report to the Director of Human Resources any possibility of the threat of act of domestic violence to allow the company to take proper preventive steps to protect the worker and all other employees in the workplace.


Management are forbidden from engaging in a romantic relationship with employees who are subordinate to them in responsibility whether or not such person reports to them directly or otherwise.

Such conduct in violation of this provision will be cause for discipline up to and including cause for termination in the discretion of the Director of Human Resources.

Employees who may contemplate such a romantic relationship with a peer level employee must disclose the potential of such a relationship to the Director of Human Resources, who may take such actions as he determines to ensure that there is no workplace conflicts due to the existence of such a relationship.

The failure of either employee to adhere to the above provision will be cause for discipline in the discretion of the Director of Human Resources up to and including termination for cause.