Respect in the Workplace
Workplace Anti-violence, Discrimination and Harassment (including Sexual Harassment)
Implemented in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act Code of Practice
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is committed to building and preserving for its employees 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, volunteer or service provider. Definitions of “discrimination” and “harassment” are included at the end of this document.
Application of This Policy
This Policy applies to all individuals working for the organization, including front-line employees, temporary employees, volunteers, mentors, contract service providers, all supervisory personnel, managers, officers and directors (collectively “Workers”), as well as all CFC job candidates.
Everyone at the CFC has a role to play in keeping the CFC workplace safe and healthy. All CFC Workers must make every effort to prevent violence, discrimination or harassment, and to intervene immediately if they observe a problem or if a problem is reported to them.
Policy Implementation Program
The CFC will conduct an investigation appropriate in the circumstance of all reported incidents of workplace violence, discrimination and/or harassment. With respect to reported claims of any form of violence, discrimination or harassment, CFC will inform the parties involved of the results of their investigation and of 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.
Informal Complaints of Harassment
If you feel that you have been harassed, you may advise the harasser personally to stop the harassment at the earliest stage. An investigation may or may not be requested, but the event should be reported to Deborah Fallows, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). In general, informal action may be suitable for minor and single incidents of harassment, but not for more serious and repeated acts of harassment.
Reporting Workplace Violence, Discrimination or Harassment
Violence: If you are either directly affected by or witness to any violence in the workplace, it is imperative for the safety of all CFC Workers that the incident be reported without delay. If a Worker feels threatened by a co-worker, volunteer, contractor, student, vendor, visitor, client or customer, an immediate call to “911” is required. An incident of workplace violence must also be reported immediately to any member of the CFC management team, who will forthwith communicate such report to Deborah Fallows, (CHRO), CFC for investigation.
Discrimination or Harassment:
An incident of workplace discrimination or harassment may be reported verbally or in writing to any direct supervisor, or to any member of the CFC management team. In the instance where the direct supervisor or management team member is the harasser, complaints may be directed to the Board Chair of the CFC.
For the purposes of this Policy, incidents of workplace violence, discrimination or harassment can occur:
- At the workplace;
- At employment-related social functions;
- In the course of work assignments outside the workplace;
- During work-related travel;
- Over the telephone, if the conversation is work-related; or
- Elsewhere, if the person is there as a result of work-related responsibilities or a work- related relationship.
Any Worker who is directly affected by or witness to any violence in the workplace, feels discriminated against, or is being or has been harassed can and should, in all confidence and without fear of reprisal, personally report such incidents.
A complaint should include the following information:
- The approximate date and time of each incident you wish to report;
- The name of the person or persons involved in each incident;
- The name of any person or persons who witnessed each incident; and
- A full description of what occurred in each incident.
All complaints received verbally will be formalized in writing and submitted either to the (CHRO) for investigation or, where the CHRO is under the direct control of the alleged harasser, to the Board Chair of the CFC for independent investigation.
Investigation of Reports of Workplace Violence, Discrimination or Harassment
On receipt of a formal complaint, either the CFC CHRO or the CFC Board Chair will conduct an objective and thorough investigation. CFC will ensure, where practicable, that the investigation is completed within 90 days of the complaint being filed.
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;
- Documenting the incident(s), its investigation and corrective action taken; and
- Submit 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.
Reporting Findings of Discrimination or Harassment Investigations
The CFC 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 10 working days of completion of an investigation.
If it is determined that 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. Any disciplinary action will be solely determined by the CFC or the Board Chair of the CFC, as appropriate, and will be proportional to the seriousness of the behaviour concerned.
Note: Report findings related to violence may be disclosed to the Joint Health and Safety Committee to prevent the potential personal injury of a Worker. Confidential information will not be shared with the Joint Health and Safety Committee unless agreed to by the Worker.
The CFC will ensure that an appropriate record of 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 harassment and the alleged harasser, if the alleged harasser is a worker of the employer; and
- A copy of any corrective action taken to address the complaint or incident of workplace harassment.
The CFC will do everything it can 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. The
CFC will protect this privacy so long as doing so remains consistent with the safety of CFC Workers, enforcement of this Policy or as required by law.
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 except to the extent required by law.
As required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the CFC will review this Workplace Anti- violence, Discrimination and Harassment Policy annually and will post the Policy in a conspicuous area in the workplace.
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 supervisor’s responsibilities in these areas.
Annual Workplace Violence Risk Assessment and Review
CFC 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. The results of this review will be provided to the Joint Health and Safety Committee or safety representative.
CFC will also review annually, in conjunction with review of the hazard assessment, the effectiveness of any actions taken to minimize or eliminate workplace violence and will make improvements to procedures, as required.
The risk assessment may include review of records and reports: e.g., security reports, employee incident reports, staff perception surveys, health and safety inspection reports, first aid records, or other related records. Specific areas that may contribute to risk of violence may include, but are not limited to: contact with the public; exchange of money; receiving doors; and working alone or at night. Research may also include a review of similar workplaces with respect to their history of violence.
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 personal harassment may cause both the accused person and the company 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. Workers will not be demoted, dismissed, disciplined or denied a promotion, advancement or employment opportunities because they rejected sexual advances of another employee or because they lodged a harassment complaint when they honestly believed they were being discriminated against or harassed.
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 perception of the receiver 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.
History of Violence
The CFC 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 job duties; and
- There is a potential risk of workplace violence as a result of interactions with such person.
The company will only disclose personal information that is deemed reasonably necessary to protect CFC Workers from physical harm.
Weapons are strictly prohibited from the CFC premises. 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 supervisor and Deborah Fallows, CHRO.
The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work
The right to refuse unsafe work is a legal right of every Worker provided by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The CFC is committed to ensuring a safe workplace.
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 his or her supervisor, and to supply a copy of that order to Deborah Fallows, CHRO. 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.
Definitions and Examples
Workplace Discrimination: treating, or proposing to treat someone unfavourably because of a personal characteristic protected by law, throughout all stages of employment from recruitment to dismissal.
Forms of discrimination and harassment prohibited by applicable legislation include:
- Sex or sexual orientation
- Gender identity or expression
- Race, colour or ancestry
- Nationality or place of origin
- Creed, religious or political beliefs
- Record of Offences
- Marital, family or civil status
- Source of income
All of our employment practices, including hiring, training, promotion performance assessments, layoffs and counseling are conducted free of discrimination.
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 threat, behaviour or action which is 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
- Disruptive behaviour that is not appropriate to the work environment (e.g., yelling or swearing).
- 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; or
- Workplace sexual harassment, which is defined as: (i) 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 (ii) 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: unsolicited, unwelcome, disrespectful or offensive behaviour that has an underlying sexual, bigoted, ethnic or racial connotation and can be typified as:
- Behaviour that is hostile in nature, or intends to degrade an individual based on personal attributes, including 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;
- Isolating a person by denying their presence, silence or distancing them from others;
- 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;
- Suggestive or offensive remarks;
- 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;
- For the most part, victims of sexual harassment are female; however, conduct directed by female employees towards males or between persons of the same sex can also be held to constitute sexual harassment;
- Any actions that create a hostile, intimidating or offensive workplace, which may include physical, verbal, written, graphic or electronic means; and
- Any threats of physical violence that endanger the health and safety of the employee.
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; and
- Refusing to speak to or work with someone, or treating someone differently, because of their ethnic or racial background.
- 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.