Policy

Harassment

Issued/Developed by: Justin Trottier
Date of Board of Directors Approval: December 13, 2018

The Canadian Association for Equality is committed to providing an environment in which all members, volunteers, staff, clients and guests are treated with respect and dignity. Harassment will not be tolerated. This policy applies to all those who enter premises under the control of CAFE as well as individuals while they are acting on behalf of CAFE.

The provisions of this policy in no way affect the rights of any person to exercise his or her rights under the Canadian Human Rights Code as applicable.

Harassment means engaging in a single serious instance or a course of repeated or persistent behaviour that would be recognized by a reasonable person as aggressive, threatening, or vexatious.

A report of a complaint of harassment must be made in writing using the appropriate CAFE Incident Report and Investigation Form. The form can be downloaded here.

The incident report shall include the following information:
1. Name(s) and contact information of the complainant.
2. Name of the accused, position and contact information (if known)
3. Names of the witness(es) (if any) or other person(s) with relevant information to provide about the incident (if any) and contact information (if known)
4. Details of what happened including date(s), frequency and location(s) of the incident(s).
5. Any supporting documents that are relevant to the complaint.
6. List any documents a witness, another person or the alleged harasser may have in their possession that are relevant to the complaint.

A complaint of harassment should be reported as soon as possible after it occurs, so that the incident may be investigated in a timely manner.

A report of a complaint should be made to your CAFE Branch Director. If you do not report to a CAFE Branch Director, report the incident to the CAFE National Executive Director.

If the complainant’s supervisor or reporting contact is the accused, contact the National Executive Director or, if this person is implicated in the incident, contact the Chairperson of CAFE’s Board of Directors.

Investigation

The investigation shall be completed by the complainant’s supervisor. The investigation must be completed in a timely manner, within 90 days unless there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. illness, complex investigation) warranting a longer investigation.

The person conducting the investigation will, at a minimum, complete the following:

1. Thoroughly interview the complainant and the accused.
2. Give the accused an opportunity to respond to the specific allegations raised by the complainant. In some circumstances, the complainant should be given a reasonable opportunity to reply.
3. Interview any relevant witnesses identified by either party or as necessary to conduct a thorough investigation.
4. Collect and review any relevant documents.
5. Take appropriate notes and statements during interviews.
6. Prepare a written report summarizing the steps taken during the investigation, the complaint, the response from the alleged harasser, the evidence of any witnesses, and the evidence gathered. The report must set out findings of fact and come to a conclusion about whether the harassment was found or not.

Within 10 days of the investigation being completed, the complainant and the alleged harasser shall be notified of the results of the investigation and of any corrective action that has been taken or that will be taken.

Information about complaints and incidents shall be kept confidential to the extent possible. Information obtained about an incident or complaint of harassment, including identifying information about any individuals involved, will not be disclosed unless disclosure is necessary to protect an individual, to investigate the complaint or incident, to take corrective action or otherwise as required by law.

While the investigation is on-going, the worker who has allegedly experienced harassment, the alleged harasser(s) and any witnesses should not discuss the incident or complaint or the investigation with each other, other workers or witnesses unless necessary to obtain advice about their rights. The investigator may discuss the investigation and disclose the incident or complaint-related information only as necessary to conduct the investigation. All records of the investigation will be kept confidential.

The employer (human resources or designated person) will keep records of the investigation including:

1. a copy of the complaint or details about the incident;
2. a record of the investigation including notes;
3. a copy of the investigation report (if any);
4. 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 a worker of the employer;
5. a copy of any corrective action taken to address the complaint or incident of workplace harassment.