Workplace Anti-violence, Harassment and Sexual Harassment Policy

 

Workplace Anti-violence, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment Policy (Bills 168 and 132) – Ontario

  1. Workplace Violence and Harassment Policy                

(a) Academy of Learning- Mississauga (AOL- MISSISSAUGA) is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment, free from violence, threats of violence, harassment including sexual or racial harassment. AOL- MISSISSAUGA will also provide appropriate assistance to any employee who is the victim of violence or harassment.

(b) AOL- MISSISSAUGA has adopted this policy which defines violence, harassment including sexual or racial harassment and outlines its training, reporting, investigative and disciplinary responses to complaints of violence or harassment including sexual or racial harassment.

(c) This policy applies to all individuals working for the organization, including front-line employees, temporary employees, contract service providers, contractors, all supervisory personnel, managers, officers, and directors. The organization will not tolerate violence or harassment, whether engaged in by fellow employees, managers, officers, directors, or contract service providers of the organization. 

(d) AOL- MISSISSAUGA will not tolerate any form of violence or harassment including sexual or racial harassment against job candidates and employees on any grounds listed in the definitions for violence and harassment, whether during the hiring process or during employment. This commitment applies to such areas as training, performance assessment, promotions, transfers, layoffs, remuneration, and all other employment practices and working conditions. 

(e)The police should be contacted immediately when an act of violence has occurred in the workplace or when someone in the workplace is threatened with violence. If an employee feels threatened by a co-worker, volunteer, contractor, student, vendor, visitor, client, or customer, an immediate call to “911” is required.

(f) Should an employee have a legal court order (e.g., a restraining order, or “no-contact” order) against another individual, the employee is encouraged to notify his or her supervisor, and to supply a copy of that order to the Executive Director. This will be required in instances where the employee strongly feels that the aggressor may attempt to contact that employee at AOL- MISSISSAUGA, in direct violation of the court order, so that AOL- MISSISSAUGA may take all reasonable actions to protect the employee. Such information shall be kept confidential and protected in AOL- Mississauga accordance with all applicable legislation

(g) Weapons are strictly prohibited from the company’s premises; violators will be subject to disciplinary action, and the incident will be reported to the police. If any visitor to the AOL- MISSISSAUGA is seen with a weapon (or is known to possess one), or makes a verbal threat or assault against an employee or another individual, employee witnesses are required to immediately contact the police, emergency response services, their immediate supervisor, and the Executive Director. 

(h) All AOL- MISSISSAUGA employees are personally accountable and responsible for enforcing this policy and must make every effort to prevent violence or harassing behavior and to intervene immediately if they observe a problem or if a problem is reported to them. 

(i) For the purposes of this policy, violence and 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.
  1. Definitions

Workplace violence means:

(a) the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker,

(b) an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker,

(c) a statement or behavior that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker. 

Domestic violence means:

  • Where a person has a personal relationship with a worker—such as a spouse or former spouse, current or former intimate partner or a family member and may physically harm, or attempt or threaten to physically harm, that worker at work. In these situations, domestic violence is considered workplace violence. 

Workplace Harassment means:

(a)  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

(b)  workplace sexual harassment.

Workplace Sexual Harassment means: 

(a) 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

(b)  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.

Racial/ethnic harassment means:

  • any conduct or comment which causes humiliation to an employee because of their racial or ethnic background, their colour, place of birth, citizenship, or ancestry.
  1. Training

AOL- MISSISSAUGA will ensure that all employees are trained and educated on violence and harassment and that they are clear about their roles and responsibilities, as well as this policy, the corresponding program, and all workplace procedures. In addition, a copy of this policy will be made available to all employees.

AOL- MISSISSAUGA will, in consultation with the (Joint Health and Safety Committee OR Health and Safety Representative) develop a written program to implement this policy.

  1. Assessment

AOL- MISSISSAUGA will conduct a risk assessment of the work environment to identify any issues related to potential violence that may affect the operation, and will institute measures to control any identified risks to employee safety. This information will be provided to the joint health and safety committee or safety representative.

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.

AOL- MISSISSAUGA will communicate information relating to a person with a history of violence where:

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

The company will only disclose personal information that is deemed reasonably necessary to protect the worker from physical harm.

  1. Reporting and Investigating Workplace Violence
  • If you are either directly affected by or witness to any violence in the workplace, it is imperative for the safety of all AOL- MISSISSAUGA employees that the incident be reported without delay. Reporting any violence or potentially violent situations should be done immediately to the Executive Director (someone else to be designated).

Upon AOL- MISSISSAUGA being advised of workplace violence it shall:

  • Investigate all reported acts and incidents of violence, and consult with other parties (e.g., legal counsel, health and safety consultants, JHSCs, employee assistance provider, human rights office, local police services).
  • Take all reasonable measures to eliminate or mitigate risks identified by the incident.
  • Document the incident, its investigation, and corrective action taken. 
  • 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. 
  • Review this policy and hazard assessment annually, or as changes to job responsibilities or environments occur, and revise the assessment as needed. 
  • Review annually, in conjunction with review of the hazard assessment, the effectiveness of actions taken to minimize or eliminate workplace violence and make improvements to procedures, as required.

Upon the joint health and safety committees/safety representative being advised of workplace violence it will:

  • Review the Workplace Violence Hazard Assessment results and provide recommendations to management to reduce or eliminate the risk of violence. 
  • Review all reports forwarded to the JHSC regarding workplace violence and other incident reports as appropriate pertaining to incidents of workplace violence that result in personal injury or threat of personal injury, property damage, or police involvement. 
  • Participate in the investigation of critical injuries (e.g., incidents that place life in jeopardy or result in substantial blood loss or fracture of leg or arm.)
  • Recommend corrective measures for the improvement of the health and safety of workers.
  • Respond to employee concerns related to workplaces violence and communicate these to management.

In addition, JHSCs may participate in the investigation of reported incidents that result in personal injury or have the potential to result in injury.

  1. Reporting and Investigating Harassment
  • Under this Violence and Harassment Policy, any employee of AOL- MISSISSAUGA may file a report of an incident or a complaint of harassment to the Executive Director in writing. For the purposes of this section the following definitions apply:
  • Complainant – The person who has made a complaint about another individual whom they believe committed an act of violence, discrimination, or harassment against them. 
  • Respondent – The person whom another individual has accused of committing an act of violence, discrimination, or harassment. 
  • Upon receipt of a report of an incident or a complaint of harassment being made, (Designate) will respond promptly and: 


(i)           determine whether an investigation should proceed and if the Complainant wishes to participate in an investigation; 


(ii)          determine who should conduct the investigation having regard to the seriousness of the allegation and the parties involved; 


  • determine whether the incident should be referred immediately to the police; 

In such cases or where civil proceedings are commenced in respect of allegations of harassment AOL- MISSISSAUGA may conduct its own independent investigation and make its own determination in accorrdance with its own policies and procedures; and 


(c) Once an investigation is initiated, the following will occur:

(i)  the Complainant and the Respondent will be advised that they may ask another person to be present throughout the investigation; 


(ii)  interviewing the Complainant to ensure a complete understanding of the allegation and gathering additional information that may not have been included in the written complaint such as the date and time of the incident, the persons involved, the names of any person who witnessed the incident and a complete description of what occurred; 


(iii) informing and interviewing the Respondent of the complaint, providing details of the allegations and giving the Respondent an opportunity to respond to those allegations and to provide any witnesses the Respondent feels are essential to the investigation; 


(iv)  interviewing any person involved or who has, or may have, knowledge of the incident and any identified witnesses; 


(v)  providing reasonable updates to the Complainant and the Respondent about the status of the investigation; and 


(vi)  following the investigation, the (designate) will:

  • (A)  review all of the evidence collected during the investigation; 

  • (B)  determine whether harassment occurred; and if so 


(C)  determine what disciplinary action, if any, should be taken as set out in Section 10 below. 


  1. 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.  If you wish to pursue this right, please refer to the Work Refusal Policy. 
  1. Making False Statements
  2. It is a violation of this Violence and Harassment Policy for anyone to knowingly make a false complaint of violence or harassment or to provide false information about a complaint.
  3. Individuals who violate this Violence and Harassment Policy are subject to disciplinary and / or corrective action up to and including termination of employment.
  1. Reprisal
  • It is a violation of this Violence and Harassment Policy to retaliate or threaten to retaliate against a complainant who has brought forward a complaint of violence or harassment, provided information related to a complaint, or otherwise been involved in the complaint investigation process.
  • Individuals who violate the Violence and Harassment Policy are subject to disciplinary and /or corrective action, up to and including termination of employment.
  1. Disciplinary Measures

If it is determined by the company that any employee has been involved in a violent behaviour, unacceptable conduct, or harassment of another employee, immediate disciplinary action will be taken. Such disciplinary action may involve counselling, a formal warning, or dismissal. 

  1. Record Keeping 

Career Colleges Ontario will ensure that appropriate records of complaints and investigations relating to workplace harassment and sexual 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 that was 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.
  1. Confidentiality

AOL- MISSISSAUGA will do everything it can to protect the privacy of the individuals involved and to ensure that complainants and respondents are treated fairly and respectfully. AOL- MISSISSAUGA will protect this privacy so long as doing so remains consistent with the enforcement of this policy and adherence to the law. Neither the name of the person reporting the facts nor the circumstances surrounding them will be disclosed to anyone whatsoever, unless such disclosure is necessary for an investigation or disciplinary action. Any disciplinary action will be determined by the company and will be proportional to the seriousness of the behaviour concerned. 

  1. Managing and Coaching

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

  1. Policy Review

As required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, AOL- MISSISSAUGA will review this policy annually and will post the policy in a conspicuous place in the workplace.