The Kawartha Trans Canada Trail Association (KTCTA) is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Workplace harassment, workplace sexual harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated from any person in the workplace. Managers, supervisors, employees and volunteers are expected to uphold this policy, and will be held accountable by the Board.
To ensure the right of all paid staff and volunteers to work in an environment free of workplace harassment and workplace sexual harassment and discrimination.
Retaliation or reprisals are prohibited against any employee or volunteer who has complained under this policy, or has provided information regarding a complaint. Any retaliation or reprisals are subject to immediate corrective action, up to and including termination. Alleged retaliation or reprisals are subject to the same complaint procedures and penalties as complaints of discrimination and harassment.
Kawartha Trans Canada Trail Association recognizes that individuals may find it difficult to come forward with a complaint under this Policy because of concerns of confidentiality. Therefore, all complaints concerning workplace harassment or workplace sexual harassment or discrimination, as well as the names of parties involved, shall be treated as confidential. KTCTA's obligation to conduct an investigation into the alleged complaint may require limited disclosure. No record of the complaint will be maintained on the personnel file of the complainant. If there is a finding of improper conduct that results in disciplinary action, it will be reflected only on the file of the person who engaged in such conduct, in the same way as any other disciplinary action.
This policy shall be reviewed by KTCTA Board as often as necessary to ensure that it adequately implements the policy and KTCTA's legal requirements.
This Statement of Policy applies not only during working/volunteering time, but to any activities which could reasonably be associated with the workplace (e.g. social events).
- All employees, volunteers and particularly employees in management positions are responsible for ensuring discrimination and harassment are not tolerated and, where possible, are redressed.
- Employees are requested to report promptly when they become aware of, or hear of, alleged actions or complaints of discrimination or harassment.
- Managers are responsible for providing a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. This responsibility includes actively promoting a positive, harassment-free work environment and intervening when problems occur. Additionally, managers are responsible for dealing with inappropriate actions of others, that come to their attention and for providing employees with information and instruction on the contents of this policy.
"Workplace" means any place where business or work-related activities are conducted. It includes, but is not limited to the physical work premises, work offices, vehicles (anywhere conducting business on behalf of KTCTA) and work related social functions, work assignments outside of KTCTA offices, work related travel, and work-related conferences or training sessions.
"Workplace Harassment" means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker (employee/volunteer) in a workplace a comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome and includes workplace sexual harassment. It may include, but is not limited to, unwelcome, unwanted, offensive, or objectionable conduct that may have the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, interfering with an individual`s work performance, adversely affecting an individual`s employment relationship and/or denying an individual dignity and respect. Workplace harassment or workplace sexual harassment may result from one incident or a series of incidents. It may be directed at specific individuals or groups.
"Workplace Sexual Harassment" means:
- engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or
- 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 worker and the person who knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.
Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, any unwelcome sexual advances (oral, written, or physical); requests for sexual favours, sexual and sexist jokes, racial jokes, taunts, or suggestions about a person's body, a person's physical or mental disabilities, attire or on other prohibited grounds of discrimination, unnecessary physical contact such as patting, touching, pinching or hitting, patronizing or condescending behaviour, displays of degrading or offensive or derogatory material such as graffiti or pictures, and physical or sexual assault.
Step 1 - Self Help
Employees/Volunteers are encouraged to attempt to resolve their concerns by direct communication with the person(s) engaging in unwelcome conduct. Where employees/Volunteers feel confident or comfortable in doing so, communicate disapproval in clear terms to the person(s) whose conduct or comments are offensive. Keep a written record of the date, time, details of the conduct or witnesses, if any.
Step 2 - Management Support and Intervention
Employees/Volunteers who are not confident or comfortable with Step 1 and who believe they are victims of discrimination or workplace harassment, workplace sexual harassment, or become aware of situations where such conduct may be occurring, are encouraged to report these matters to the President of KTCTA. If the President is the alleged harasser, the employee /Volunteer should report the incident of workplace harassment or workplace sexual harassment to the Board.
Step 3 - Formal Complaint
If informal attempts at resolving the issue are not appropriate, or proving to be ineffective, a formal complaint may be filed. To file a formal complaint, an employee/volunteer should:
- Provide written notice of the incident(s) (i.e. when it occurred, the persons involved, and names of witnesses, if any). The notice should include the remedy sought and be signed and dated by the person complaining.
- File the complaint with the President of KTCTA, or to the Board for investigation.
- Cooperate with those responsible for investigating the complaint.
An employee who becomes aware of situations where discrimination or workplace harassment or workplace sexual harassment may be occurring is requested to notify the President of KTCTA or the Board;
Complaints reported under Step 2 & 3 shall be investigated (see Schedule A: Investigation Template). The investigation process shall involve interviews of the complainant, the respondent and any witnesses named by either. Investigations are to be completed (if possible) within 3 months. At the completion of the investigation the person experiencing the workplace harassment and/or workplace sexual harassment and the alleged harasser (if he/she is an employee/volunteer of KTCTA) will be informed of the results (in writing) of the investigation and any corrective action that has taken place or that will be taken as a result of the investigation.
All complaints shall be handled in a confidential manner. Information concerning a complaint or action taken as a result of the investigation, will not be released to anyone who is not involved in the investigation. Disciplinary action for violations of this Policy will take into consideration the nature and the impact of the violations, and may include a verbal or written warning, suspension (with or without pay) or termination (with or without notice). Similarly, deliberate false accusations are of equally serious nature and will also result in the disciplinary action up to and including termination without notice or just cause. Note, however, that an unproven allegation does not mean that harassment did not occur or that there was a deliberate false allegation. It simply means that there is insufficient evidentiary basis to proceed or that while the complainant may have genuinely had reason to believe that there was harassment, investigation has not borne out of the complaint.
Schedule A: Investigation template
This template may be used for guidance in investigating workplace harassment incidents or complaints. The person conducting the investigation must not have been involved in the incident or complaint of workplace harassment and must not be under the direct control of the alleged harasser.
Name of investigator:
Date of investigation:
A. Background information
Who are the people involved? Are they workers as defined by Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)? Who reported and when?
- Name of person who reported workplace harassment
- If not the same person as above, name of person who allegedly experienced workplace harassment
- Date complaint/concern raised and how
- Name of worker(s) (complaining or possibly exposed to workplace harassment): Position/Department
- Name of respondent(s) (alleged harasser); Position/ Department
If not a worker – provide details
B. Investigation plan
Plan and conduct the investigation:
- Obtain the worker(s) concerns of harassment in writing, if possible. Assistance should be provided in completing the form where necessary.
- An investigator needs to interview the worker who allegedly experienced workplace harassment and the alleged harasser (if a worker of the employer). If the alleged harasser is not a worker of the employer, the investigator should make reasonable efforts to interview him or her.
- Make a list of possible relevant witnesses. The worker who allegedly experienced workplace harassment and the alleged harasser should be asked for names of any relevant witnesses.
- Interview relevant witnesses. Ask specific questions about what they have observed, are aware of or have personally experienced. If the witnesses are not workers of the employer, the investigator should make reasonable efforts to interview those witnesses.
- Collect and review relevant documents from the worker, alleged harasser, witnesses and the employer.
- Take detailed notes.
- Keep the investigation confidential. Instruct the worker who allegedly experienced workplace harassment, the alleged harasser and witnesses not to talk to others about the investigation unless it is necessary, for instance, to obtain advice or counselling.
C. Worker(s) concerns/workplace harassment allegations
When did the incident(s) occur? Confirm date of first incident and any subsequent behaviours or conduct. Note that recalling events of harassment can be stressful for the complainant.
Date of first incident:
Date of last incident:
Date of other incident(s):
D. Alleged harasser(s) response
The alleged harasser(s) will likely need details of the allegation of harassment to be able to respond.
E. Interview relevant witnesses
List witnesses. Interview relevant witnesses and make notes.
F. Collected documentation
List the documents collected for the investigation and how or from whom they were obtained.
G. Investigation result(s)
The investigator’s summary report should set out who was interviewed, what evidence was obtained and an analysis of the evidence to determine whether workplace harassment occurred.
Summary of key evidence:
Recommended next steps:
Report provided to: