We believe everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and to enjoy a work environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation and violence.
To this end the following defines what we consider discrimination, harassment and violence to be, and with those definitions in mind we require our employees, contractors, customers and vendors to eliminate any form of this behaviour in every medium (both physical and digital) that we use to conduct our business and social functions.
Therefore we undertake to train all new employees on our policy, retrain existing employees who haven’t been trained within the last 12 months to ensure they know and understand our policy, and to promptly investigate and resolve all incidents of discrimination, harassment and violence.
We ask all employees, and in particular team leaders, to thoroughly understand this policy, respect and abide by it, and if you witness, or are the target of discrimination, harassment or violence, that you report it immediately. And, that you maintain the confidentiality of all involved in any such investigation.
What Constitutes Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Violence
Discrimination, based upon any of the following, collectively known as the Protected Grounds, are not tolerated unless proven to be a reasonable and bona fide qualification for the role an employee, contractor, or vendor holds and performs for the company;
- Creed or religion
- Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Gender expression
- Family status
- Marital status
- Place of origin
- Ethnic origin
- Record of offenses
- Residency/migratory status
- Personal appearance
- Political affiliation
Workplace discrimination includes the unequal treatment, exclusion, or preference based on any of the above categorizations that reduce the equality of opportunity, or cause a disadvantage in the terms or conditions of employment.
Discriminatory harassment includes what a reasonable person would consider to be inappropriate actions, comments, jokes, questions, including whether a person is pregnant, has children, or plans to have children, and all forms of behavior that are belittling, humiliating or degrading. A single incident may constitute harassment, depending on the severity of the behavior.
Sexual harassment includes 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 colleague they have approached, and the person knows, or ought reasonably to know, that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.
Poisoned Work Environment
If an individual’s comments, conduct or gestures are aimed at no particular individual, but they are discriminatory, harassing, or they convey violence, then this behaviour is poisoning the work environment and it too is not tolerated.
Systemic discrimination includes policies or practices that the company has implemented, intentional or not, that exclude, limit, or restrict individuals or groups as categorized by the the Protected Grounds, from employment, or opportunities within employment. Such policies or practices are not tolerated and must not be brought into practice or policy, and must be eliminated if and when the company is made aware of some such existing policy or practice.
Workplace violence includes the act of, the attempted act of, or the threat to attempt, physical force towards a colleague that causes, or could cause, physical injury. No form of which is tolerated.
Investigation of an Incident of Discrimination, Harassment or Violence
If you, the complainant, feel you have been subjected to an act of discrimination, harassment, or violence in our workplace by an individual, individuals, or the company (collectively the respondents), tell us immediately by sending an email to Byron and Debbie and include what happened, when and where, who was involved, including anyone who witnessed the incident, and any documents, emails, etc. that are relevant to understand what occurred. Further, if you are not the target of such behaviour but you witness or suspect discriminatory, harassing or violent actions have transpired, then you too are obligated to report such incidents using the process outlined here. If one of Byron, or Debbie, is the recipient of the complaint, send the complaint to the other party.
One or both of Byron or Debbie (the investigator), will promptly inform the Team Leader of the respondent of the situation that has occurred, and interview the complainant to understand the complaint, the response to the allegations by the respondent(s), and the interpretation of the situation by witnesses, if any. The interviews are documented and all interviewees will review and confirm the notes for accuracy.
If the investigator finds that discrimination, harassment, or workplace violence has occurred, based on the evidence collected and a “balance of probabilities”, the following conditions are further considered when determining corrective action:
- The impact of the incident on the complainant
- The nature and aggressiveness of the incident
- The intent to cause harm
- Frequency of incidents
Based upon the collective determination one or more of the following corrective actions are taken;
- Formal apology
- Review and modification of workplace policies, procedures, and practices
- Suspension, demotion, transfer or termination
- Legal action
The complainant, respondent, and their respective Team Leaders, are informed in writing of the results of the investigation and the corrective action that has been taken as a result. They are not entitled to copies of all evidence and documentation collected.
Byron and Debbie will monitor the situation (the individuals involved and their respective teams) closely for the next 6 months to ensure there are no repeat issues or retaliation, and to confirm the effectiveness of the resolution strategies.
Complainants may of course choose to pursue other avenues to remedy an incident, such as the Human Rights Tribunal, criminal or civil action.
An individual that submits a complaint in good faith, even where the complaint cannot be proven, will not be in violation of this policy. However, if an investigation reveals that the complainant made false accusations knowingly, or in a malicious manner, the complainant will be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination of employment.
Retaliation for reporting or bearing witness to perceived or actual discrimination, harassment or violence, is not tolerated, and if substantiated, appropriate corrective action, up to and including termination of employment.
We are committed to equal opportunity by hiring, compensating, training, promoting, and providing consistent treatment to all employees on the basis of performance. With this in mind, harassment cannot be confused with legitimate and reasonable behaviour that is part of the normal work function, such as actions to correct performance deficiencies, normal workplace conflict that may occur between individuals, or differences of opinion between coworkers.
All information obtained that is related to a complaint and investigation is confidential to the extent possible, and anyone involved in an investigation shall not disclose information, except as required by this policy or by law. Anyone who breaches the confidentiality of any part of a complaint will be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination of employment.