WORKPLACE HARASSMENT/SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
KDS Electric recognizes that every person possesses basic human rights including the right to respect, dignity, and protection from all forms of harassment/sexual harassment.
KDS Electric will adhere to the spirit and intent of all applicable legislation governing workplace harassment/sexual harassment including, but not limited to, the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
KDS Electric is committed to maintaining a workplace where all workers are treated with dignity and respect and will have zero tolerance of any form of harassment/sexual harassment towards its workers or any other person in the course of business.
This policy outlines the commitment, principles and procedures that KDS Electric will follow with respect to preventing and stopping harassment/sexual harassment in the workplace. Any violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to, and including dismissal.
KDS Electric will:
- Appoint a Workplace Violence and Harassment/Sexual Harassment Coordinator;
- Establish procedures to effectively address alleged instances of workplace harassment/sexual harassment;
- Provide all workers with training and information regarding this policy;
- Monitor the company's compliance with this policy and related procedures;
- Review this policy annually to ensure that it is current and effective;
Accountability for ensuring compliance with the provisions of this policy rest with Kevin Smith or designate.
All workers are expected to:
- Familiarize themselves with this policy;
- Attend any training related to this policy;
- Ask their supervisor for clarification on this policy if they have questions;
- Help promote a harassment/sexual harassment-free workplace;
- Refrain from workplace harassment/sexual harassment as defined in this policy; and
- Immediately report instances of actual or potential workplace harassment/sexual harassment, whether directly experienced or witnessed, to Kevin Smith.
It is the responsibility of management to:
- Foster a harassment/sexual harassment-free workplace;
- Model respectful behaviour in the workplace;
- Ensure that workers under their supervision receive adequate information and training on this policy;
- Report any incidents or potential for harassment/sexual harassment to Kevin Smith;
- Investigate all aspects of any reported instances of harassment/sexual harassment in conjunction with Kevin Smith in a timely manner;
- Maintain confidentiality in the investigation process;
APPLICATION AND SCOPE
The policy is applicable whenever a worker:
- Carries out duties or conducts business on behalf of KDS Electric.
- Represents KDS Electric on committees or at work related events/ conferences;
- Attends work-related functions; and/or
- Socializes with other workers
Locations and situations covered by this policy include, but are not limited to:
- KDS Electric offices and worksites;
- Other buildings or premises under the jurisdiction of KDS Electric;
- Company vehicles;
- Social functions sanctioned by or under the jurisdiction of KDS Electric whether held at company offices or facilities or at other locations approved by the company;
- Work-related travel outside of company facilities;
- Incidents which occur outside the workplace but have negative repercussions at work or adversely affect working relationships;
- Harassment/sexual harassment that occurs by electronic means (e-mail, telephone, voice mail, internet, or fax) or written communication; and
- Any other locations or events where company business, operations, or social functions are carried out.
As used in this policy, the term “worker” includes any full-time, part-time, probationary, temporary and casual worker as well as volunteers and students.
This policy also protects workers from workplace harassment/sexual harassment by those individuals whom workers may contact in the course of their job duties. These include, but are
not limited to, clients, members of the public, and those who supply goods and services to KDS Electric.
Reprisal refers to a negative action or omission against a worker who:
- Invokes this Policy, whether on behalf of oneself or another individual;
- Participates or co-operates in any inquiry under this policy;
- Associates with a person who has invoked this Policy or participated in its procedures; and/or
- Performs a legitimate role under this Policy.
Workplace Harassment/sexual harassment:
"Workplace harassment/sexual harassment" means 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. This includes comments or actions in the workplace that negatively affect working relationships or productivity or create a poisoned work environment.
Workplace harassment/sexual harassment include psychological or personal harassment/sexual harassment and bullying, as well as comments and conduct prohibited under the grounds stipulated in the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Harassment/sexual harassment may occur as one incident, or a series of incidents, involving unwelcome comments or conduct.
Examples of harassing behaviour include but are not limited to:
- Verbal abuse or inappropriate displays of anger;
- Bullying behaviour;
- Comments or actions which constitute harassment/sexual harassment or discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code including, but not limited to, sexual harassment and harassment based on race, religion, ethnic background, or disability;
- The display, circulation, or electronic transmission of pornographic, racist or other offensive or derogatory text or pictures;
- Conduct which interferes with a person’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment;
- Unfounded complaints which are made in bad faith, in reprisal, frivolously or with malicious intent;
- Interfering with a workplace violence or harassment/sexual harassment investigation; intimidating a complainant, respondent or witness; or influencing a person to give false or misleading information;
- Reprisal as defined in this policy;
- Any other inappropriate, negative, disrespectful, or unprofessional treatment of others; and/or
- Failure of supervisors, in keeping with their authority, to respond in accordance with this policy to interpersonal misconduct or allegations of discrimination or harassment/sexual harassment. Such failure may be considered as condoning such behaviour and therefore a violation of this policy.
This policy does not prohibit management staff from carrying out functions which fall within their rights and responsibilities, provided this is done in an appropriate, professional manner which does not constitute an abuse of power. Such functions include, but are not limited to, conducting performance appraisals, addressing performance and conduct issues, delegating work assignments, and determining work locations and schedules for staff.
Any person who feels that he/she has experienced workplace harassment/sexual harassment may take the necessary steps, file a complaint under this policy, or initiate proceedings, without prejudice or fear of reprisal. If you believe that you have been subjected to workplace harassment/sexual harassment:
- Ask the person to stop. Do so as soon as you experience any form of unwelcome comment or conduct. Although this may be difficult to do, telling the person that you do not like their actions is often enough to stop the behaviour. Remind the person that the conduct is against KDS Electric's policy. If you are not comfortable with approaching the person go to Step 3.
- If you believe that someone who is not a worker, e.g. a customer, supplier, etc., has subjected you to harassment/sexual harassment, please report the incident to your Supervisor immediately. Harassing behaviour from non-workers is not acceptable and will be dealt with under this policy.
- Keep a record of the incident(s) including dates, location, witnesses, your response to the individual and any other pertinent information.
- If allegations of workplace harassment/sexual harassment or violence are made against you, keep a record of your version of the alleged incident. If you believe the complaint is unfounded or made in bad faith, discuss the matter with your immediate Supervisor or with Human Resources.
- If the violent or harassing behaviour does not stop, bring the complaint immediately to the attention of your immediate Supervisor and Human Resources. Any formal written complaint filed by a worker must contain:
- name(s) of the respondent(s) to the complaint;
- the date or dates of the incident(s);
- location(s) of the incident(s);
- details of the incident(s);
- names of any witnesses.
Kevin Smith will then address the issue with the alleged offender in accordance with Step 4.
- Kevin Smith will review the written complaint and may determine that an investigation is warranted if there is sufficient prima facie evidence to indicate that harassment/sexual harassment has occurred. Effective temporary measures will be implemented to protect the victim, if necessary.
- The complainant will be advised that the respondent has a right to know who is making allegations against him/her and will be provided with a copy of the written complaint for their response.
- Confidentiality will be maintained at all times except where the disclosure of names is necessary for the purpose of investigating the complaint, when taking any action in relation to the complaint, or where disclosure is required by law.
- If criminal actions are alleged, witnessed, or found to have occurred, the responding member of management will contact the Police immediately. Criminal actions include, but are not limited to, the following behaviours:
- The displaying of hate-based graffiti or pornography;
- The transmission or storing of electronic telecommunications that incite hatred and violence or that constitute pornography;
- The displaying of symbols or emblems (including clothing) that suggest racial supremacy and incite hatred and violence;
- Stalking (persistently pursuing a particular individual although the advances are clearly unwelcome)
- Sexual assault or threat of sexual assault;
- Threats against an individual or their loved ones or family;
- Extortion; and/or
- Physical assault or threats of physical assault
Whether or not a formal complaint is filed, Kevin Smith may be obligated to proceed with an investigation if it appears that applicable legislation and/or the policy has been violated.
FORMAL INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE
- Kevin Smith, or a designated investigator will undertake an investigation immediately and all necessary steps will be taken to resolve the problem.
- Individual interviews with the complainant, the respondent and any witnesses will be held. If you are interviewed, you may have a co-worker or other support person present with you as an observer at the meeting.
- If the investigation reveals evidence to support the complaint of workplace violence or harassment/sexual harassment, appropriate measures will be taken. These may include disciplinary action up to and including discharge.
- If the respondent is disciplined, the incident will be documented and filed in his/her employment file in accordance with Human Resources documentation procedures.
- If the investigation fails to find evidence to support the complaint, no documentation will be placed in the parties’ personal Human Resources files.
- If resolution is not achieved, you may still exercise your rights under the Ontario Human Rights Code or the Occupational Health and Safety Act as appropriate.
- Workers who make legitimate, complaints of harassment/sexual harassment in good faith will not have their employment affected in any adverse manner.
- Where the complaint is determined to be abusive, frivolous, vindictive, or made in bad faith, the company will take appropriate action towards the complainant, which may include discipline.
- Reprisal against an individual who has filed a complaint in good faith or who has been named as a witness or respondent in a complaint, whether or not the complaint was substantiated and whether or not the complaint was resolved through any of the procedures set out in this policy, may itself become an incident of workplace harassment/sexual harassment and could result in disciplinary action being taken by the company.