Policy and Purpose
The purpose of CPAB’s Workplace Anti-Violence and Harassment Policy is to minimize the risk of violence or harassment occurring in the workplace and to provide a process to be followed should an alleged incident or incident of violence or harassment take place or should an individual(s) become aware of a potentially violent or harassing situation. Actions have been taken to identify possible sources of workplace violence and harassment. This Policy is reviewed annually.p>
The Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment free from violence, threats of violence, discrimination, harassment, intimidation and any other misconduct for every CPAB employee, inspection consultants, contractors, temporary employees and members of the Board of Directors. CPAB does not condone and will not tolerate acts of violence or harassment / bullying against or by any CPAB employee.
Our Workplace Anti-Violence and Harassment Policy is not meant to stop free speech or to interfere with everyday interactions. However, what one person finds offensive, others may not. Usually, harassment can be distinguished from regular, mutually acceptable socializing. It is the perception of the receiver of the potentially offensive message be it spoken, a gesture, a picture or other form of communication which may be deemed objectionable that determines whether something is acceptable or not.
This Policy prohibits reprisals against individuals, acting in good faith, who report incidents of workplace violence or harassment or act as witnesses. Management will take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent reprisals, threats of reprisal, or further violence or harassment. Reprisal is defined as any act of retaliation, either direct or indirect.
CPAB will ensure that all employees are educated on violence and harassment and that they are clear about the roles and responsibilities as well as this policy and its procedures. In addition a copy of this policy will be made available to all employees.
All CPAB employees are accountable and responsible for enforcing this policy. They must make every effort to prevent discrimination, harassment and/or violent behavior. They must intervene immediately and report the incident in accordance with this policy if they observe a problem, or if a problem is reported to them.
For the purposes of this policy, violence and harassment can occur:
This policy applies to every CPAB employee, inspection consultant, contractor, temporary employee and member of the Board of Directors. The organization will not tolerate violence or personal harassment whether engaged in by employees, managers, officers, directors, or contract service providers of the organization.
CPAB will not tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination against job candidates and employees on any grounds mentioned above, whether during the hiring process or during employment. This commitment applies to training, performance, assessment, promotions, transfers, layoffs, remuneration, and all other employment practices and working conditions.
This Policy is guided by the
Occupational Health and Safety Act, of Ontario and similar legislation in other provinces in which CPAB operates. Canada’s Criminal Code also prohibits violence and harassment.
For purposes of this Policy, workplace violence means:
Domestic violence is generally acknowledged to be a pattern of behavior in an intimate relationship (or formerly intimate) that is meant to intimidate and control the victim. Abuse in a domestic situation can take many forms including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and financial and any attempt to carry out these actions towards a worker at work is considered workplace violence.
Any unsolicited, unwelcome, disrespectful or offensive behavior that has an underlying sexual, ethnic or racial connotation and can be typified as:
Racial / Ethnic Harassment
Any conduct or comment which causes humiliation to an employee because of their racial or ethnic background, their color, place of birth, citizenship or ancestry. Examples of conduct which may be racial or ethnic harassment include but are not limited to:
Workplace means any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in or near which a worker works. If a worker is being directed and paid to be there or near there, it is considered a workplace.
CPAB will conduct a risk assessment of the work environment to identify any issues related to potential violence and harassment that may impact the operation and will institute measures to control any identified risks to employee safety. This information will be provided to Human Resources.
The risk assessment may include review of records and reports i.e. 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 and harassment include contact with public, exchange of money, entrances and exits, working alone or at night, etc.
Notification of Workers at Risk
If a manager is aware that an individual can be expected to encounter a person with a history of violent behavior, and the risk of workplace violence by that person is likely to expose the individual to physical injury, or an actual incident of workplace violence or harassment has occurred, or an incident of workplace violence or harassment is reasonably expected to occur, CPAB shall take the following steps to ensure the safety of all individuals:
CPAB will limit its disclosure of personal information to what is necessary to protect individuals from physical injury.
Safe-work procedures have been and continue to be developed at CPAB to inform and instruct individuals about the risks of workplace violence and harassment. Safe-work procedures on workplace violence and harassment prevention include:
Should an employee have a legal court order (e.g. restraining order or no-contact order) against another individual, the employee is encouraged to notify their supervisor and to supply a copy of that order to Human Resources.
This will likely be required in instances where the employee feels the aggressor may attempt to contact the employee at CPAB, in direct violation of the court order. Such information shall be kept confidential.
If any visitor to the CPAB workplace is seen with a weapon (or is known to possess one), 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 Human Resources.
Seeking Immediate Assistance
Criminal Code deals with matters such as violent acts, threats and behaviors such as stalking. 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 or client / customer then an immediate call to 911 is required.
The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work
Any CPAB employee can refuse to work if they have a reasonable belief that one or more of the following situations exist:
Recommendation to Get Medical Help
Individuals who have been the victim of workplace violence will be:
Individuals and their families may have access to crisis counselling.
An individual who experiences workplace harassment or violence will keep their existing benefits coverage while under treatment or counselling, subject to the terms of the plan.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
If an individual experiences workplace harassment or violence that necessitates medical care or results in the employee not being able to earn full wages, both CPAB and the individual must file a report of injury with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board where applicable.
Reporting Incidents of Workplace Violence or Harassment (Personal, Racial/Ethnic or Sexual)
An individual should report any incident of workplace violence or harassment to their immediate manager, to Human Resources; or to another colleague, if they feel that is more appropriate or they are more comfortable doing so.
If the individuals’ immediate manager was involved in the incident, they should report it to any other manager; to Human Resources; or to another colleague, if they feel that is more appropriate or they are more comfortable doing so. If a member of Human Resources was involved in the incident, they should report it to any other manager, or to another colleague, if they feel that is more appropriate or they are more comfortable doing so. The manager shall inform the Chief Executive Officer directly. Should the report name the Chief Executive Officer as a Respondent, the Complainant may file the report with Human Resources, who shall inform the Chair of the Board (Chair), or file the complaint directly with the Chair. The above is a suggested reporting structure. However, employees are able and encouraged to report any incident to any individual they feel most comfortable reporting to or dealing with. The individual and manager should assess the risk associated with the situation and the individual should complete the prescribed Violence and Harassment Investigation Form and review it with the manager. The form must be completed for all incidents including situations that cause a reasonable fear of future workplace violence or harassment. Human Resources should submit the Violence and Harassment Investigation Form to the Chief Executive Officer within 24 hours of receiving the report. CPAB recognizes there may be circumstances that prevent a formal report from being made within this time period.
Investigating Incidents of Workplace Violence and Harassment
The individual’s manager and Human Resources, shall, as soon as possible, review the incident, evaluate the risk of future workplace violence and harassment, review the current safe-work procedures and revise or implement additional procedures as appropriate to help minimize the risk of future workplace violence and harassment.
CPAB is committed to ensuring that an individual’s human rights, due process and the rules of fairness are followed in any investigation.
Separation of Parties
If the investigator thinks it would be in the best interests of CPAB and the parties, Human Resources may make arrangements for the complainant and respondent(s) to be immediately assigned different responsibilities for the duration of the investigation.
All parties must cooperate fully with any investigation under this Policy.
Opportunity to be Heard
The investigator or Human Resources shall provide each party with a reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegations in the complaint before an investigation report is issued.
Right to Representation
At any interview or proceeding related to an investigation under this Policy, a complainant and respondent may have their counsel present to provide advice and representation. Should a respondent choose to retain legal counsel at any stage of an investigation, it will be at the respondent’s own expense.
Fraudulent or Malicious Complaints
This Anti-Violence and Harassment Policy and Procedures must never be used to bring fraudulent or malicious complaints against employees. It is important to realize that unfounded / frivolous allegations of harassment may cause both the accused person and the company damage. If it is determined by the company that any employee has knowingly made false statements regarding an allegation of harassment, disciplinary action will be taken. As with any case of dishonesty, disciplinary action may include immediate dismissal without further notice.
Upon examination of the evidence, the investigator or Human Resources shall make recommendations to the Chief Executive Officer in an investigation. Such recommendations may include, but are not limited to:
The investigator or Human Resources shall render an investigation report in writing to the Chief Executive Officer within one month of the filing of the Violence and Harassment Investigation Form, unless there are extenuating circumstances.The Complainant and the respondent, if he or she is a CPAB staff or contactor, will be informed in writing of the results of the investigation and of any corrective action that has been taken or that will be taken as a result of the investigation.
Record of Investigation
The investigator and Human Resources shall maintain a record of the entire investigation including the Violence and Harassment Investigation Form, documentation of interviews and investigation report.
CPAB recognizes the importance of confidentiality to anyone who files a Violence and Harassment Investigation Form under the Policy and will make every reasonable effort to balance confidentiality with the legal responsibility of CPAB, including the responsibility to investigate the complaint, take corrective action or where required by law. CPAB shall handle all complaints and investigations under this Policy as confidentially as practical and appropriate in the circumstances. CPAB shall make all reasonable efforts to safeguard the confidentiality of all records relating to Violence and Harassment Investigation Form filed under the Policy, investigations, interview notes, investigation report and other relevant material. Information gathered about an incident or complaint of workplace harassment will not be disclosed unless necessary for the investigation or corrective action regarding the incident.
CPAB reserves the right to disclose confidential information relating to an alleged incident of workplace violence or harassment where required by law (for example, in receipt of a subpoena or in a criminal matter).
Ministry of Labor
Responsibilities and Accountabilities:
CPAB has a responsibility to:
Management has a responsibility to:
Employees, Inspection Consultants and Members of Board
Employees, inspection consultants and members of the Board of Directors have a responsibility to:
Managing and / or Coaching
Counselling, performance appraisal, work assignment, and the implementation of disciplinary actions is not a form of harassment, and the policy does not restrict a manager / supervisor’s responsibilities in these areas.
As required by the
Occupational Health and Safety Act, CPAB will review this policy annually and will post the policy on the Health and Safety Bulletin Board.
The Policy shall be posted on CPAB’s intranet site, accessible to employees and inspection consultants, and made available to members of the Board of Directors.
Acknowledgement and Agreement
I, acknowledge that I have read and understand the Workplace Anti-Violence and Harassment Policy of CPAB. I agree to adhere to this policy and will ensure that employees working under my direction adhere to this Policy. I understand that if I violate the rules set forth by this Policy, I may face disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.Name: Signature: