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Harassment Policy

Harassment Policy

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Jewish Youth Library of Ottawa

 

Harassment Policy

 

PURPOSE:
The Jewish Youth Library (JYL) is committed to fostering a harassment-free workplace where all employees are treated with respect and dignity. The Canadian Human Rights Act protects employees from harassment based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or pardoned conviction.

 Harassment at the JYL is not tolerated. Employees who are found to have harassed another individual may be subject to disciplinary action. This includes any employee who: interferes with the resolution of a harassment complaint; retaliates against an individual for filing a harassment complaint; or files an unfounded harassment complaint intended to cause harm.

 

CONTEXT:
This policy applies to all current employees of the JYL, including full and part-time, casual, contract, permanent and temporary employees, as well as volunteers. This policy also applies to job applicants. This policy applies to all behaviour that is in some way connected to work, including during off-site meetings, training and on business trips.

 

DEFINITIONS:
Harassment is:
- offending or humiliating someone physically or verbally;
- threatening or intimidating someone; or
- making unwelcome jokes or comments about someone’s race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or pardoned conviction.

Sexual harassment is:
- offensive or humiliating behaviour that is related to a person’s sex;
- behaviour of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, unwelcome, hostile or offensive work environment; or
- behaviour of a sexual nature that could reasonably be thought to put sexual conditions on a person’s job or employment opportunities.

RESPONSIBILITIES and EXPECTATIONS:

The JYL is responsible for:
- providing all employees with a harassment-free workplace.

The JYL’s Board of Directors are responsible for:
- ensuring that this policy is applied in a timely, consistent and confidential manner;
- determining whether or not allegations of harassment are substantiated; and
- determining what corrective action is appropriate where a harassment complaint has been substantiated.
- the administration of this policy;
- reviewing this policy annually, or as required; and
- making necessary adjustments to ensure that this policy meets the needs of the organization.

The JYL’s Executive Director is responsible for:
- fostering a harassment-free work environment and setting an example about appropriate workplace behaviour;
- communicating the process for investigating and resolving harassment complaints made by employees;
- dealing with harassment situations immediately upon becoming aware of them, whether or not a harassment complaint has been made;
- taking appropriate action during a harassment investigation, including separating the parties to the harassment complaint, when appropriate; and
- ensuring harassment situations are dealt with in a sensitive and confidential manner.

 Employees are responsible for:
- treating others with respect in the workplace;
- reporting harassment to the Jewish Youth Library
- cooperating with a harassment investigation and respecting the confidentiality related to the investigation process;

 Employees can expect:
- to be treated with respect in the workplace;
- that reported harassment will be dealt with in a timely, confidential and effective manner;
- to have their rights to a fair process and to confidentiality respected during a harassment investigation; and
- to be protected against retaliation for reporting harassment or cooperating with a harassment investigation.

 

PROCEDURE:

Filing a Complaint
An employee may file a harassment complaint by contacting the Executive Director. The complaint may be verbal or in writing. If the complaint is made verbally, the Executive Director will record the details provided by the employee.
The employee should be prepared to provide details such as what happened; when it happened; where it happened; how often and who else was present (if applicable).
Complaints should be made as soon as possible but no later than within one year of the last incident of perceived harassment, unless there are circumstances that prevented the employee from doing so.
The Executive Director will tell the person that the harassment complaint has been made against, in writing, that a harassment complaint has been filed. The letter will also provide details of the allegations that have been made against him or her.

 Every effort will be made to resolve harassment complaints within 30 days. The Executive Director will advise both parties of the reasons why, if this is not possible.
If either party to a harassment complaint believes that the complaint is not being handled in accordance with this policy, he or she should contact the JYL’s Board of Director.

 

Mediation
Wherever appropriate and possible, the parties to the harassment complaint will be offered mediation prior to proceeding with a harassment investigation.
Mediation is voluntary and confidential. It is intended to assist the parties to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution to the harassment complaint.
The mediator will be a neutral person, agreed upon by both parties. The mediator will not be involved in investigating the complaint.
Each party to the complaint has the right to be accompanied and assisted during mediation sessions by a person of their choosing.

 

Investigation
If mediation is inappropriate or does not resolve the issue, a harassment investigation will be conducted. All investigations will be handled by an individual who has the necessary training and experience. In some cases, an external consultant may be engaged for this purpose.
The investigator will interview the person who made the complaint, the person the complaint was made against and any witnesses that have been identified. All people who are interviewed will have the right to review their statement, as recorded by the investigator, to ensure its accuracy.

The investigator will prepare a report that will include:
- a description of the allegations;
- the response of the person the complaint was made against;
- a summary of information learned from witnesses (if applicable); and
- a decision about whether, on a balance of probabilities, harassment did occur.

This report will be submitted to the Board of Directors. Both parties to the complaint will be given a copy.

 

Substantiated Complaint
If a harassment complaint is substantiated, Board of Directors will decide what action is appropriate.
Remedies for the employee who was harassed may include: an oral or written apology; compensation for lost wages; compensation for any lost employment benefits such as sick leave; and compensation for hurt feelings.
Corrective action for the employee found to have engaged in harassment may include: a reprimand; a suspension; a transfer; a demotion; and/or dismissal.
Both parties to the complaint will be advised, in writing, of the decision.

 Other Redress
An employee who is not satisfied with the outcome of the harassment complaint process may file a discrimination complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

PRIVACY and CONFIDENTIALITY
All parties to a harassment complaint are expected to respect the privacy and confidentiality of all other parties involved and to limit the discussion of a harassment complaint to those that need to know.

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