Our respect for the workplace policy

1. OVERVIEW OF POLICY

  • 1.1    The Canadian Women's Foundation is committed to taking all reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety and dignity of all employees and workers in its workplace.
  • 1.2    Employees and workers have the right to work in a safe and respectful environment, free of physical violence and emotional harassment.
  • 1.3    Any threats or acts of violence or harassment by or against employees or workers or the public are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • 1.4    The Canadian Women's Foundation is committed to meeting or exceeding all of the legal requirements, duties, and standards set by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its applicable regulations related to workplace violence and harassment.

 2. SCOPE OF POLICY

  • 2.1    This policy recognizes that workplace harassment and violence may occur between co-workers, workers and clients/customers and workers and strangers.
  • 2.2    This policy applies to all workplace activities that occur both at and away from the workplace. Every individual at the Canadian Women's Foundation has responsibilities to ensure a healthy, safe and respectful work environment.

3. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that:

  • 3.1    Individuals understand that acts of violence or harassment are considered a serious matter for which immediate action will be taken;
  • 3.2    Individuals subjected to threats or acts of violence or harassment are encouraged to report all such incidents immediately to their supervisor or human resources department;
  • 3.3    Individuals have available recourse if they are subjected to, or become aware of, situations involving workplace violence or harassment;
  • 3.4    An assessment will be conducted to assess the risk and/or potential risk of violence in the workplace; and
  • 3.5   Written measures and procedures will be established to eliminate and/or reduce the risk of workplace violence and harassment. 

4. DEFINITIONS

  • 4.1    Workplace violence is:

a) The exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace or during workplace activities away from the workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker.
b) An attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace or during workplace activities away from the workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.
c) A statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace or during workplace activities away from the workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.1

  • 4.2    Workplace harassment is engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace or during workplace activities away from the workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.2

 5. RESPONSIBILITIES

Management Responsibilities:

  • 5.1    Act respectfully at work and while conducting work related activities;
  • 5.2    Conduct a risk assessment to identify workplace violence and harassment potential hazards;
  • 5.3    Inform workers and/or health and safety representative or joint health and safety committee of the results of the assessment and provide copies;
  • 5.4    Take all reasonable precautions to minimize or eliminate violence related hazards;
  • 5.5    Establish procedures for preventing, reporting, investigating, documenting and debriefing workplace violence and harassment incidents;
  • 5.6    Ensure workers are provided with information and instruction that is appropriate for the worker on the contents of the policy and program with respect to the prevention of workplace violence and harassment;
  • 5.7    Take every reasonable precaution to protect workers in cases where domestic violence would likely expose a worker to physical injury in the workplace;
  • 5.8    Review the efficacy of the workplace violence and harassment prevention program and procedures on a regular basis and in consultation with the joint health and safety committee, health and safety representative or workers;
  • 5.9    Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker, if management  is aware of , or ought to reasonably aware, domestic violence that would likely expose a worker to physical injury may occur in the workplace3; and
  • 5.10   Provide information, including personal information, related to a risk of workplace violence from a person with a history of violent behaviour if a worker can be expected to encounter that person in the course of his or her work and the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose that worker to physical injury.4

Supervisor Responsibilities:

  • 5.11    Act respectfully at work and while conducting work related activities;
  • 5.12    Promote and encourage reporting of incidents of violence and harassment;
  • 5.13    Maintain records of violence and harassment related complaints, issues, concerns and investigations;
  • 5.14    Ensure workers receive training on the workplace violence and harassment prevention program;
  • 5.15    Assist in investigating claims of workplace violence and harassment; and
  • 5.16    Provide information, including personal information, related to a risk of workplace violence from a person with a history of violent behaviour if a worker can be expected to encounter that person in the course of his or her work and the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose that worker to physical injury.

Worker Responsibilities:

  • 5.17    Act respectfully at work and while conducting work related activities;
  • 5.18    Attend training and education sessions when required;
  • 5.19    Immediately report to Supervisor incidents and/or knowledge of workplace violence or harassment;
  • 5.20    Cooperate with investigations; and
  • 5.21    Follow the measures and procedures set out in the Canadian Women's Foundation workplace violence and harassment prevention program.

6. INCIDENT REPORTING AND INVESTIGATION

  • 6.1    The Canadian Women's Foundation has established specific procedures that workers must follow to report all incidents of violence in the workplace and to report concerns about situations that could become violent. These procedures have been established to ensure that incidents receive an appropriate and timely response.
  • 6.2     The Canadian Women's Foundation will investigate all reported acts of workplace harassment and violence.
  • 6.3     A staff member or volunteer who feels subjected to unacceptable workplace behaviour should register their concern as soon as possible with the President and CEO or one of the Co-Chairs of the Board.  Any record or evidence of the behaviour should be brought forward to reinforce the allegation but is not necessary in reporting an allegation.
  • 6.4     An investigation of the allegation will be conducted involving the person reporting the allegation, the person alleged to have committed the unacceptable workplace behaviour, and any other person who may provide information.
  • 6.5     Any allegation and information will be received in strict confidence and will be documented.  However, documentation will not be maintained on a employee or volunteer’s personnel file for raising an allegation nor where an allegation made against the person was subsequently not upheld.
  • 6.6     If a person is found to be guilty of unacceptable workplace behaviour, disciplinary measures will be taken.  Such measures may include suspension or dismissal and/or reporting the matter further to the appropriate authorities.

7. REPRISALS PROHIBITIED

  • 7.1   This policy prohibits any form of reprisal against a worker, who, in good faith, reported a workplace violence or harassment incident.
  • 7.2    Direct and indirect retaliation for exercising rights or responsibilities under this policy will not be permitted.
  • 7.3    Reprisals include but are not limited to any of the following toward a worker: hostility, exclusion/ostracism, negative remarks, demeaning duties, discriminatory behaviour, harassment, demotion, suspension or dismissal.  

1. Bill 168, An Act to Amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Violence and Harassment) 2009, s.1.
2. Bill 168, An Act to Amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Violence and Harassment) 2009, s.1.
3. Bill 168, An Act to Amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Violence and Harassment) 2009, s.32.0.4
4. Bill 168, An Act to Amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Violence and Harassment) 2009, s.32.0.5 (3)