Policies and Procedures

4245 - Procedure - Workplace Harassment

      General:

      In accordance with the Policy, these Procedures provide a mechanism for dealing with complaints of harassment occurring in the working and learning environment.

      Nothing in these Procedures denies or limits access to other avenues of redress available under the law or through progressive discipline.

      In such a case, this process shall cease until the parties and their respective representatives have met with the Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations to determine which dispute resolution process will proceed and which one(s) will be held in abeyance pending completion of the chosen process.

      1.0 Definitions:

          1.1 The word employee, under this procedure, includes all persons employed by the Board.

          1.2 The words “other users” include all persons, who are neither students nor employees, while on Board premises or attending Board or school programs/functions.

          1.3 “Code” refers to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

      2.0 Who May Initiate a Complaint:
          2.1 All those individuals who are included under section 4.0 of Regulation 4245 have access to complaint procedures.

          2.2 Individuals who believe that they have been subjected to such conduct may report the harassment.

          2.3 Anonymous reports will not be entertained for dispute resolution under these Procedures.

      3.0 Timelines for Initiating a Complaint:
          All reports must be filed within six months of the most recent instance of alleged harassment. A report outside this time frame may be considered by consulting the principal or appropriate supervisor. Formal Complaints filed outside this time frame may be considered by consulting the Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations.

      4.0 Confidentiality:
          4.1 It is the duty of the supervisory and managerial personnel to maintain confidentiality in the complaint process. All complainants, respondents and other persons involved with the complaint processes under these Procedures will ensure that all matters remain confidential. Witnesses should be informed that supervisory and managerial personnel, in obtaining a statement, will maintain said statement in confidence, subject to their ability to conduct a full and thorough investigation.

          4.2 Notwithstanding the above, procedural fairness requires that the respondent to a complaint be apprised of the nature of the complaint and by whom it has been made so that they have an opportunity to respond to the charges.

          4.3 The Board may be required to provide information obtained during an investigation to an outside agency that has the right to require information otherwise protected by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

      5.0 Records:
          All correspondence and other documents generated under these Procedures must, subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, be marked “PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL” and be stored in a locked and secure file in the Employee Relations Department
      6.0 Misuse of the Complaint Procedures:
          If there is a determination that a complaint has been filed in bad faith, the complaint process may discontinue and disciplinary action may occur.
      7.0 Reprisals:
          7.1 Reprisals against individuals because they have reported a complaint are strictly forbidden.

          7.2 Alleged reprisals shall be investigated as formal complaints and, if substantiated, are subject to the same consequences as complaints of workplace harassment.

      8.0 Informal Complaint Resolution:
          When an individual feels that he or she is the object of discrimination or harassment under this policy, the first step is to initiate an Informal Complaint. The purpose of the Informal Complaint Procedure is to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of the complainant and to ensure that the offending behaviour, if evident, ceases.

          8.1 The Complainant shall inform the offender that the behaviour is unwelcome;

          8.2 The Complainant is encouraged to seek support from a colleague or union representative;

          8.3 The Complainant shall inform the appropriate person in authority: principal, manager, or supervisor. If the complaint is directed against the immediate supervisor, a supervisory officer shall co-ordinate the Informal Complaint Procedure;

          8.4 The supervisor who receives the complaint shall attempt to resolve the matter through intervention or mediation;

          8.5 The Complainant is advised to keep a written record including the name of the offender, date, time, location, description of the offending behaviour, potential witnesses and who was informed. No official file shall be opened at this stage;

          8.6 If the offending behaviour does not cease or the Complainant is not satisfied with the result of the Informal Complaint Procedure, the Complainant may proceed to the Formal Complaint Procedure.

      9.0 Formal Complaint Procedure:

          The Formal Complaint Procedure is conducted by the Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations who will initiate a formal investigation. The focus of the investigation may be to mediate the situation to achieve a resolution satisfactory to the complainant. As circumstances merit, the investigation may result in an alternate resolution or disciplinary action.
          9.1 The complainant shall submit the Formal Complaint Form (Appendix A) to the Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations;

          9.2 Within ten working days, the Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations will confirm receipt of the Formal Complaint, in writing to the Complainant and the Respondent;

          9.3 The Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations may take immediate action with the non-disciplinary temporary reassignment of either the Respondent or the Complainant appropriate to the circumstances of the complaint;


          9.4 Within five working days of issuing the written confirmation of the Formal Complaint, the Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations will initiate an investigation;


          9.5 The Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations may designate an alternate to conduct the investigation as necessary or appropriate to the circumstances. If necessary, an Investigation Committee of two Superintendents of Education will be assigned to investigate;


          9.6 The Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations or designate will meet with the Complainant to hear a detailed description of the incidents underlying the complaint. Where applicable, the Complainant will be advised of the right to have union representation at this meeting;


          9.7 The Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations or designate will meet with the Respondent to hear his or her response to the allegations. Where applicable, the Respondent will be advised of the right to have union representation at this meeting;



          9.8 The Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations or designate may conduct further meetings, as necessary, with witnesses or other key individuals in the workplace;


          9.9 The Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations or designate may convene a meeting with the Complainant and the Respondent in an attempt to mediate the situation, as circumstances warrant;


          9.10 At the conclusion of the investigation, the Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations or designate will present a written report to the Complainant, outlining the conclusion of the investigation and any decision to impose disciplinary action pursuant to the investigation;


          9.11 The decision may include a recommendation for counselling or support for the Complainant or a recommendation for counselling for the Respondent. Disciplinary action may include the requirement of a written apology by the Respondent, a change in workplace, or further discipline up to and including termination, as appropriate. A copy of the report may be placed in the Respondent’s personnel file;


          9.12 The Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations or designate may determine that the complaint is not a violation of the Code and make recommendations for resolution;


          9.13 If the Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, he or she has the right to proceed to the Ontario Human Rights Commission or take further or other legal action as may be appropriate;

          9.14 It is understood that, at any point in the process the Superintendent may refer the matter to outside mediation. In such cases, it is understood as follows:

                Mediation is dependent on the commitment of all parties;

                The services of a trained mediator may be utilized;

                Meetings for mediation will be arranged, where practical, in a time and place convenient for the complainant, the respondent and the mediator, while ensuring privacy;

                Any settlement that is reached must be mutually accepted by the parties in writing.


Appendix A



PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL

DURHAM DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD

WORKPLACE HARASSMENT – POLICY #4245

FORMAL COMPLAINT FORM


Name of Complainant(s): ____________________________________________________

School/Workplace: _________________________________________________________

Employee Job Title: __________________________________ Other _________________

Description of Complaint (Include the dates of the incident(s) and approximate time period. Please attach additional pages if necessary).

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

Name of Respondent(s):

School/Workplace: _________________________________________________________

Employee Job Title: __________________________________ Other _________________

Date complainant informed respondent that the behaviour was unwelcome: _________

Date of attempt at informal resolution: ________________________________________

Has the complaint been reported previously? Yes No Date: __________________

If Yes, to whom, and what actions were taken? (Please attach additional pages if necessary).

___________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________

Complainant(s) Signature(s): ____________________________ Date: __________________

Note: When the complainant and respondent are both teachers, the complainant must meet the reporting obligations of Section 18(1)(b) of the Regulation Made Under the Teaching Profession Act)

The information contained in this form is confidential and every reasonable step will be taken to maintain confidentiality in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This form and any attachments will be copied to the respondent(s) named above, in accordance with the Formal Complaints Process.

Date received by Superintendent of Education/Employee Relations: __________________________


 Appendix:
 

 Document Links:
 

Effective DateLegislative References
Regulation
05/18/1995
Amended/Reviewed
08/08/2006
09/20/2010