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Schedule D: Sample Workplace Harassment Program

This workplace harassment program is a sample. Employers may want to modify their program to meet the needs of the workplace. The program must be developed in consultation with the joint health and safety committee and health and safety representative (if any).

[insert employer name] is committed to providing a work environment in which all workers are treated with respect and dignity. Workplace harassment will not be tolerated from any person in the workplace (including customers, clients, other employers, supervisors, workers, and members of the public, as applicable).

The workplace harassment program applies to all workers including managers, supervisors, temporary employees, students and subcontractors.

1. Workplace harassment

Workplace 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 or workplace sexual harassment (employer may want to insert examples).

Workplace sexual harassment means:

  1. engaging in a course of vexatious com ment 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
  2. 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 knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome;

Reasonable action taken by the employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the workplace is not workplace harassment (employer may want to insert examples e.g. scheduling, annual performance review).

2. Reporting workplace harassment

A. How to report workplace harassment

Workers can report incidents or complaints of workplace harassment verbally or in writing. When submitting a written complaint, please use the workplace harassment complaint form (see attached). When reporting verbally, the reporting contact, along with the worker complaining of harassment, will fill out the complaint form.

The report of the incident should include the following information:

  1. Name(s) of the worker who has allegedly experienced workplace harassment and contact information
  2. Name of the alleged harasser(s), position and contact information (if known)
  3. Names of the witness(es) (if any) or other person(s) with relevant information to provide about the incident (if any) and contact information (if known)
  4. Details of what happened including date(s), frequency and location(s) of the alleged incident(s)
    1. Any supporting documents the worker who complains of harassment may have in his/her possession that are relevant to the complaint.
    2. List any documents a witness, another person or the alleged harasser may have in their possession that are relevant to the complaint.

B. Who to report workplace harassment to

An incident or a complaint of workplace harassment should be reported as soon as possible after experiencing or witnessing an incident. This allows the incident to be investigated in a timely manner.

Report a workplace harassment incident or complaint to [name, position, and contact information]. If the worker’s supervisor or reporting contact is the person engaging in the workplace harassment, contact [position or name of alternate reporting contact and contact information]. If the employer (e.g. owner, senior executive, director) is the person engaging in the workplace harassment, contact [position or name of alternate reporting contact and contact information]. (Note: The person designated as the reporting contact should not be under the direct control of the alleged harasser.)

Human Resources [or designated person] shall be notified of the workplace harassment incident or complaint so that they can ensure an investigation is conducted that is appropriate in the circumstances. If the incident or complaint involves the owner, senior executive or [list positions as appropriate] , an external person qualified to conduct a workplace harassment investigation who has knowledge of the relevant workplace harassment laws will be retained to conduct the investigation.

All incidents or complaints of workplace harassment shall be kept confidential except to the extent necessary to protect workers, to investigate the complaint or incident, to take corrective action or otherwise as required by law.

3. Investigation

A. Commitment to investigate

[insert employer name] will ensure that an investigation appropriate in the circumstances is conducted when the employer, human resources, a manager or supervisor becomes aware of an incident of workplace harassment or receives a complaint of workplace harassment.

B. Who will investigate

[insert name, manager or department] will determine who will conduct the investigation into the incident or complaint of workplace harassment. If the allegations of workplace harassment involve [insert jobs, positions, levels or departments (e.g. senior leadership, president and above)], the employer will refer the investigation to an external investigator to conduct an impartial investigation.

C. Timing of the investigation

The investigation must be completed in a timely manner and generally within 90 days or less unless there are extenuating circumstances (i.e. illness, complex investigation) warranting a longer investigation.

D. Investigation process

The person conducting the investigation whether internal or external to the workplace will, at minimum, complete the following:

  1. The investigator must ensure the investigation is kept confidential and identifying information is not disclosed unless necessary to conduct the investigation. The investigator should remind the parties of this confidentiality obligation at the beginning of the investigation.
  2. The investigator must thoroughly interview the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment and the alleged harasser(s), if the alleged harasser is a worker of the employer. If the alleged harasser is not a worker, the investigator should make reasonable efforts to interview the alleged harasser.
  3. The alleged harasser(s) must be given the opportunity to respond to the specific allegations raised by the worker. In some circumstances, the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment should be given a reasonable opportunity to reply.
  4. The investigator must interview any relevant witnesses employed by the employer who may be identified by either the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment, the alleged harasser(s) or as necessary to conduct a thorough investigation. The investigator must make reasonable efforts to interview any relevant witnesses who are not employed by the employer if there are any identified.
  5. The investigator must collect and review any relevant documents.
  6. The investigator must take appropriate notes and statements during interviews with the worker who allegedly experienced workplace harassment, the alleged harasser and any witnesses.
  7. The investigator must prepare a written report summarizing the steps taken during the investigation, the complaint, the allegations of the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment, the response from the alleged harasser, the evidence of any witnesses, and the evidence gathered. The report must set out findings of fact and come to a conclusion about whether workplace harassment was found or not.

E. Results of the investigation

Within 10 days of the investigation being completed, the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment and the alleged harasser, if he or she is a worker of the employer, will be informed in writing of the results of the investigation and any corrective action taken or that will be taken by the employer to address workplace harassment.

F. Confidentiality

Information about complaints and incidents shall be kept confidential to the extent possible. Information obtained about an incident or complaint of workplace harassment, including identifying information about any individuals involved, will not be disclosed unless disclosure is necessary to protect workers, to investigate the complaint or incident, to take corrective action or otherwise as required by law.

While the investigation is on-going, the worker who has allegedly experienced harassment, the alleged harasser(s) and any witnesses should not to discuss the incident or complaint or the investigation with each other or other workers or witnesses unless necessary to obtain advice about their rights. The investigator may discuss the investigation and disclose the incident or complaint-related information only as necessary to conduct the investigation.

All records of the investigation will be kept confidential.

G. Handling complaints

[The employer must set out any interim measures that may be taken after the complaint is received and during the investigation. The employer must also set out how they might deal with the complaint of harassment if harassment is found. This may include discipline up to and including termination.]

4. Record keeping

The employer (human resources or designated person) will keep records of the investigation including:

  1. a copy of the complaint or details about the incident;
  2. a record of the investigation including notes;
  3. a copy of the investigation report (if any);
  4. a summary of the results of the investigation that was provided to the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment and the alleged harasser, if a worker of the employer;
  5. a copy of any corrective action taken to address the complaint or incident of workplace harassment.

All records of the investigation will be kept confidential. The investigation documents, including this report should not be disclosed unless necessary to investigate an incident or complaint of workplace harassment, take corrective action or otherwise as required by law.

Records will be kept for:

Date created:

Annual review date:

Workplace harassment complaint form

This is an example of a complaint form for workers to report an incident or a complaint of workplace harassment. It can be modified to meet the needs of workplace. Note: Whether the worker uses the complaint form or not, the employer is still obligated to ensure an investigation appropriate in the circumstances is conducted into an incident of workplace harassment.

Name and contact information of worker who has allegedly experienced workplace harassment (your name):

Name of alleged harasser(s) and contact information, if available:

Details of the complaint of workplace harassment

Please describe in as much detail as possible the bullying and harassment incident(s), including: (a) the names of the parties involved; (b) any witnesses to the incident(s); (c) the location, date and time of the incident(s); (d) details about the incident(s) (behaviour and/or words used); (e) any additional details. (Attach additional pages if required)

Relevant documents/evidence

Attach any supporting documents, such as emails, handwritten notes, or photographs. Physical evidence, such as vandalized personal belongings, can also be submitted. If you are not able to attach documents and they are relevant to your complaint, please list the documents below. If someone else has relevant documents, please note that below.

Signature:

Date:

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