Respect in the Workplace

The CFC is committed to eliminating all forms of harassment and discrimination, including systemic racism, while building and preserving a safe, productive and healthy working environment based on mutual respect. In pursuit of this goal, the CFC does not condone and will not tolerate acts of violence, discrimination or harassment against or by any CFC employee, resident, mentor, volunteer or service provider. Definitions of "discrimination," "violence," and "harassment" are set out in Appendix A at the end of this section. Everyone at the CFC has an active role to play in eliminating systemic racism and other forms of discrimination and harassment while keeping the CFC workplace safe and healthy. All of us at the CFC must make every effort to analyze program activities and business practices to ensure they reflect the strongest possible commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, to prevent violence, discrimination or harassment, and to intervene immediately if they observe a problem or if a problem is reported to them.

Application of this Policy

This Policy applies to all individuals working for the organization and participating in CFC programs and productions. This includes front-line employees, temporary employees, volunteers, residents, mentors, contract service providers, managers, officers and department heads, as well as all CFC job candidates, (collectively "Workers"),

For the purposes of this Policy, incidents of workplace violence, discrimination or harassment can occur:

  • At the workplace;
  • At employment or industry-related social functions;
  • In the course of work assignments outside the workplace;
  • During work-related travel;
  • Over the telephone or email, (if the conversation is work-related);
  • Over social media;
  • Elsewhere, if the person is there as a result of work-related responsibilities or a work-related relationship.

Policy Implementation Program

The CFC will implement this Policy in compliance with the General Procedures set out in Appendix B and will take the proactive steps necessary to ensure these policies and procedures are established and promoted to CFC Workers.

In implementing this Policy, the Executive Lead, People and Culture or an external investigator determined by the Executive Lead, People and Culture will conduct an investigation appropriate in the circumstance of all reported incidents of workplace violence, discrimination and/or harassment. With respect to reported complaints of discrimination or harassment, the Executive Lead, People and Culture will inform the parties involved of the results of their investigation and discuss any corrective action that has been or will be taken as a result of the investigation. If it is determined that an incident of workplace violence, discrimination or harassment in any form has occurred, appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken as soon as possible. Such disciplinary action may involve counselling, a formal warning, suspension or dismissal.

Workplace Violence

If the Worker feels immediately threatened or witnesses an immediate threat to a Worker in the workplace by a co-worker, volunteer, contractor, resident, mentor, vendor, or visitor, an immediate call to "911" is required. Other non-immediately threatening acts of violence must be reported without delay to any member of the CFC management team, who will forthwith communicate such report to the Executive Lead, People and Culture for investigation.

Informal Complaints of Harassment

If the Worker feels that they have been harassed, they may, in all confidence and without fear of reprisal, advise the harasser personally to stop the harassment at the earliest stage or they may contact Deborah Fallows, Executive Lead, People and Culture, CFC, at or 416.445.1446 x202 or by moblie 416 564 3431, at any time.

The Worker may choose not to pursue a formal complaint if the matter is then resolved to satisfaction. However, in order for the CFC to identify patterns of harassment, workers are encouraged to report these informal complaints to the Executive Lead, People and Culture. Where the matter is not resolved to the Worker's satisfaction, the worker must inform the Executive Lead, People and Culture. In general, informal action may be suitable for minor and single incidents of harassment, but not for more serious and repeated acts of harassment.

Formal Complaint of Discrimination or Harassment

Any Worker who witnesses discrimination or harassment in the workplace or feels discriminated against, or that they are being or have been harassed can and should, in all confidence and without fear of reprisal, personally report such incidents. An incident of workplace discrimination or harassment must be reported verbally or in writing immediately to their department head, designated programs department contacts, the Executive Lead, People and Culture, or use the alternative option below. In the instance where the direct manager or management team member is the harasser or perceived as biased in favour of the harasser, complaints may be reported to the Co-Vice Chair of the Board of the CFC, Cheryl Hudson, at:

A reported complaint should include the following information:

  • The approximate date and time of each incident the Worker wishes to report;
  • The name of the person or persons involved in each incident;
  • The name of any person or persons who witnessed each incident;
  • A full description of what occurred in each incident.

All reported complaints received verbally by a CFC employee, direct manager or any member of the CFC management team should be formalized in writing and submitted either to the Executive Lead, People and Culture for investigation or where the Executive Lead, People and Culture is under the direct control of the alleged harasser or perceived as biased in favour of the harasser, to the Co-Vice Chair of the Board of the CFC, Cheryl Hudson, at the email address set out above, for an independent investigation.

Alternative Option

If a Worker finds it too difficult to identify themselves to file an informal or formal complaint, they may report the incident(s) by contacting a confidential, third-party service that maintains anonymity if desired. The Executive Lead, People and Culture will be notified of complaints related to alleged harassment or other violations of this Policy to determine what further investigation is required.

Any Worker using this alternative option who elects not to disclose their contact information is encouraged to provide as much detail as possible to the confidential service in order to support the quality of the investigation since follow up with the complainant for more information will not be possible, due to the anonymous nature of this option.

To contact the third-party service, you can call: Shirreff Workplace Law Solutions at: 416 524 9186.

Investigation of Reports of Workplace Violence, Discrimination or Harassment

On receipt of a reported complaint, the Executive Lead, People and Culture, CFC Vice Co-Chair or an independent third party, as applicable, will conduct an objective and thorough investigation.

The CFC will ensure, where practicable, that the investigation is completed within ninety (90) days of the complaint being filed or sooner if possible. During the investigation, all Individuals involved, including any witnesses, should not discuss the incident, complaint, or the investigation with each other or with anyone else unless to obtain advice about their rights.

Details of the complaint and related investigation, and all related records, shall be considered confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone except as necessary to investigate the incident, take corrective action, protect the safety of other individuals or as otherwise required by law. All individuals interviewed as part of the investigation shall be reminded of their confidentiality obligations prior to commencing their interview.

The investigation process will include:

  • Informing the respondent of the complaint;
  • Interviewing the complainant, any person involved in the incident(s), and any identified witnesses;
  • Interviewing any other person who may have knowledge of the incident(s) related to the complaint or any other similar incident(s);
  • Provide the respondent with the opportunity to respond to the complainant's allegations;
  • Taking statements from all parties involved, which will be documented and held on file;
  • Reviewing all relevant documents;
  • Documenting the incident(s), its investigation and corrective action taken;
  • Submitting a report of the incident to the Ministry of Labour, where an employee incurs a lost-time injury as a result of violence in the workplace or as otherwise required by applicable law.

Reporting Findings of Discrimination or Harassment Investigations

The CFC's Executive Lead, People and Culture will inform both the complainant and respondent of the findings of the investigation and of any corrective action that has been or will be taken as a result of the investigation within ten (10) working days of completion of an investigation.

If it is determined, that discrimination or harassment in any form has occurred in the workplace, appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken as soon as possible. Such disciplinary action may involve counselling, a formal warning, suspension or dismissal. Any disciplinary action will be solely determined by the CFC's Executive Lead, People and Culture and ED, or the Vice Co-Chair of the Board of the CFC, as appropriate, and will be proportional to the seriousness of the behaviour concerned.

Appendix A: Definitions

Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is the exercise, statement or behaviour of physical force by a person against a Worker in a workplace that causes or could cause physical injury to the Worker, such as:

  • Physical acts (e.g., hitting, shoving, pushing, kicking, sexual assault, throwing an object at a Worker, kicking an object the Worker is standing on, such as a ladder, or trying to run down a Worker using a vehicle or equipment such as a forklift);
  • Any threats of physical violence that endanger the health and safety of the employee;
  • Any threat, behaviour or action which can reasonably be interpreted to carry the potential to harm or endanger the safety of others, result in an act of aggression, or destroy or damage property; or
  • Any other disruptive behaviour that is not appropriate to the work environment (e.g., yelling or swearing).

Domestic Violence

A person who has a personal relationship with a Worker — such as a spouse or former spouse, current or former intimate partner, or a family member — may physically harm or attempt or threaten to physically harm that Worker at work. In these situations, domestic violence is considered workplace violence. For additional information, please visit the website below:

Workplace Discrimination

Treating, or proposing to treat someone unfavourably because of a personal characteristic protected by law throughout all stages of services, employment from recruitment to dismissal.

Forms of discrimination and harassment prohibited by applicable legislation may include:

  • Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity or gender expression
  • Race, colour or ancestry
  • Ethnic origin or place of origin
  • Citizenship
  • Creed, religious or political beliefs
  • Age
  • Record of offences
  • Marital status (including single and civil status)
  • Family status
  • Disability

All of our contracted services and employment practices, including hiring, training, promotion, performance assessments, layoffs and counselling, are conducted free of discrimination.

Workplace Harassment Defined

  • Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a Worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome
  • Workplace sexual harassment, which is defined as:
    • 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 comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; or
    • 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.

Personal Harassment (Bullying) and Sexual Harassment

Unsolicited, unwelcome, disrespectful or offensive behaviour, including behaviour that has an underlying sexual, bigoted, ethnic or racial connotation, and can be typified as:

Personal Harassment and Bullying

  • Behaviour that is hostile in nature or intends to degrade an individual based on personal attributes, including but not limited to age, race, nationality, disability, family status, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or any other protected ground under human rights legislation;
  • Rude, degrading or offensive remarks, intimidating gestures; rumours, or ridicule that discredit the individual;
  • Use of disrespectful body language, including sneering, staring and glaring;
  • Insults and name-calling;
  • Mocking or mimicking someone;
  • Spreading rumours and gossip;
  • Intrusion on privacy such as spying, snooping or stalking;
  • Refusing to engage in common pleasantries;
  • Giving the silent treatment to an employee;
  • Yelling and screaming or use of offensive language or remarks;
  • Character assassination by making disparaging remarks to others about the competence, performance or other behaviour in order to malign a target's reputation to get others on side;
  • Following a target or blocking their movement;
  • Undermining the target's efforts by setting impossible goals or deadlines;
  • Having a different standard for the target;
  • Deliberately withholding information that would help the target do his, her or their job
  • Making false allegations in memos or other work-related documents;
  • Gaslighting: denying that things were said or done with the intent of making the target doubt their memory about an incident;
  • Isolating a person by denying their presence, silence or distancing them from others;
  • Any actions that create a hostile, intimidating or offensive workplace may include physical, verbal, written, graphic or electronic means.

Sexual Harassment

  • Sexual solicitation or advance made by a person in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the person, where the person making the solicitation or advance knows or ought reasonably to know that it is unwelcome;
  • Reprisal or a threat of reprisal for the rejection of a sexual solicitation or advance where the reprisal is made or threatened by a person in a position to confer, grant, or deny a benefit or advancement to the person;
  • Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendos, propositions or taunting about a person's body, attire, sex or sexual orientation, or religion;
  • Bragging about sexual prowess;
  • Offensive jokes or comments of a sexual nature about an employee;
  • Unwelcome language related to gender;
  • Displaying of pornographic or sexist pictures or materials;
  • Leering (suggestive persistent staring);
  • Physical contact, such as touching, patting or pinching, with an underlying sexual connotation;
  • Sexual assault.

Racial/Ethnic Harassment

Conduct or comment that causes humiliation to an employee because of their racial or ethnic background, colour, place of birth, citizenship or ancestry. Examples of conduct that may be racial or ethnic harassment include:

  • Unwelcome remarks, jokes or innuendos about a person's racial or ethnic origin, colour, place of birth, citizenship, or ancestry;
  • Displaying racist or derogatory pictures or other offensive material;
  • Insulting gestures or practical jokes based on racial or ethnic grounds that create awkwardness or embarrassment;
  • Refusing to speak to or work with someone, or treating someone differently, because of their ethnic or racial background;
  • Being subjected to racial name-calling or nicknames;
  • Excessive monitoring or a racialized person's work;
  • Applying higher levels of discipline when racialized employees engage in misconduct;
  • Being quick to judge communications from racialized employees as rude or insubordinate.


Micro-aggressions refer to obvious or subtle, direct or indirect behaviours and comments, which reference an individual's personal identity, such as race, gender, ethnic origin, religion, disability, or age. Over time, micro-aggressions can have lasting emotional and mental effects on the individual or individuals targeted and can contribute to a toxic and non-inclusive workplace. Examples of micro-aggressions in the workplace can include, but are not limited to:

  • Repeatedly calling a racialized Worker by the name of a different person of the same race;
  • Asking a racialized Worker where they are "really" from;
  • Commenting on a person's physical appearance in reference to racial characteristics such as skin tone;
  • Scheduling meetings or important deadlines on religious or cultural holidays.

For information:

Appendix B: General Procedures

Record Keeping

The CFC will ensure that an appropriate record of reported complaints and investigations relating to workplace violence, discrimination and harassment are kept, including:

  • A copy of the complaint or details about the incident;
  • A record of the investigation, including notes;
  • A copy of the investigation report (if any);
  • A summary of the results of the investigation provided to the Worker who allegedly experienced the workplace violence, discrimination or harassment and the alleged respondent if the alleged respondent is a Worker of the employer; and
  • A copy of any corrective action taken to address the complaint or incident of workplace violence, discrimination or harassment.


The CFC will follow established processes and policies to protect the privacy of the individuals involved in the reporting and investigating of incidents of workplace violence, discrimination and harassment. The CFC will ensure that all complainants and respondents are treated fairly and respectfully.

All records of reported violent incidents, workplace discrimination incidents or harassment and their subsequent investigations are considered confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone other than the immediate investigative team, the third-party investigator if applicable and, except to the extent required to protect the safety of CFC Workers and by law.

Policy Review

As required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act ("OHSA"), the CFC will post the Policy in a conspicuous area in the workplace. The Policy is also posted on our website.

The Executive Lead, People and Culture will conduct annual corporation-wide hazard assessments, or, as required, due to changes to job responsibilities or environments. CFC will institute measures to control any identified risks to Worker safety resulting from the assessments. The results of this review will be provided to the Joint Health and Safety Committee or safety representative. Confidential information will not be released to the Joint Health and Safety Committee.

The Executive Lead, People and Culture, together with the ED, will also review annually, in conjunction with a review of the hazard assessment, the effectiveness of any actions taken to minimize or eliminate workplace violence, harassment or discrimination and will make improvements to procedures, as required.

The assessment may include a review of records and reports: e.g., security reports, Worker incident reports and perception surveys, health and safety inspection reports, first aid records, or other related records. Research may also include a review of similar workplaces with respect to their history of violence.

Managing and Coaching

Counselling, performance appraisal, work assignment, and the implementation of disciplinary actions are not forms of discrimination or harassment, and this Policy does not restrict a manager or manager's responsibilities in these areas.

Fraudulent or Malicious Complaints

This Policy must never be used to bring fraudulent or malicious complaints against CFC Workers. It is important to realize that unfounded or frivolous allegations of discrimination or harassment may cause both the accused person and the CFC significant damage. If it is determined by the CFC that any Worker has knowingly made false statements regarding an allegation of discrimination or personal harassment, immediate disciplinary action will be taken, up to and including dismissal. Workers will not be demoted, dismissed, disciplined or denied a promotion, advancement or employment opportunities because they rejected sexual advances of another Worker or because they lodged a complaint in good faith when they honestly believed they were being discriminated against and/or harassed.

History of Violence

The CFC's Executive Lead, People and Culture will communicate information relating to a person with a history of violence where:

  • Workers may reasonably be expected to come into contact with such person in the performance of their occupational duties;
  • There is a potential risk of workplace violence as a result of interactions with such person.

The CFC will only disclose personal information that is deemed reasonably necessary to protect CFC Workers from physical harm.


Weapons are strictly prohibited from all CFC places of work. If any visitor to the CFC workplace is seen with a weapon (or is known to possess one), or makes a verbal threat or assault against a Worker or another individual, witnesses are required to immediately contact the police, emergency response services, their immediate manager and the Executive Lead, People and Culture.

The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

The right to refuse unsafe work is a legal right of every Worker provided by the OHSA. The CFC is committed to ensuring a safe workplace.

Special Circumstances

Should a Worker have a legal court order (e.g., a restraining order or "no-contact" order) against another individual, the Worker is encouraged to notify the Executive Lead, People and Culture and to supply a copy of that order to the Executive Lead, People and Culture. This will be required in instances where the Worker strongly feels that the aggressor may attempt to contact them at the CFC, in direct violation of the court order, so that the CFC may take all reasonable actions to protect the Worker. Such information shall be kept confidential and protected in accordance with all applicable legislation.

In cases where criminal proceedings are forthcoming, the CFC will assist police agencies, lawyers, insurance companies and courts to the fullest extent.

This Policy is not meant to stop free speech or to interfere with everyday interactions; however, what one person finds inoffensive, others may not. Usually, harassment can be easily distinguished from normal, mutually acceptable socializing. It is important to remember that it is the reasonable perception of the receiver (and not the intention of the alleged harasser) that determines whether the potentially offensive message is acceptable or not, be it spoken, gestural, pictorial or some other form of communication that may be deemed objectionable or unwelcome.