Respect in the Workplace
All individuals have the right to be treated with respect in the workplace. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace that promotes the productivity, dignity, and self-esteem of every person. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has zero tolerance for workplace violence or the discrimination, bullying or harassment – sexual or otherwise – of our employees, volunteers, Directors, Board Committee members or other stakeholders by anyone.
All employees, volunteers, directors, board committee members and consultants are responsible for conducting themselves in a professional and inclusive manner. They have a responsibility to refrain from participating in behaviour that is or could be perceived as disrespectful in nature. Any form of discrimination, violence, micro-aggression, harassment, or bullying in the workplace is unacceptable, strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada recognizes that violence, harassment, discrimination, micro-aggressions and bullying in the workplace are occupational health and safety hazards which may cause both physical and emotional harm. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada will take whatever steps are reasonable to protect employees, volunteers, directors, board committee members, and consultants from violence and harassment from any person in the workplace.
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s Respect in the Workplace policy applies to all directors, board committee members (Board), employees (regardless of status), volunteers, consultants, other stakeholders, and visitors.
The policy applies to the conduct of individuals in the performance of assigned duties, responsibilities and activities that may include Crohn’s and Colitis Canada related social activities taking place outside of the premises of the employer, on social media, with activities connected with the workplace (for example, events, travel, or conferences), and with third parties who are in a relationship with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is committed to:
- Ensuring all individuals covered by this policy receive appropriate information and instruction on the contents of this policy.
- Investigating reported incidents of violence, harassment, micro-aggressions, bullying and discrimination fairly and promptly.
- Taking necessary action; and
- Providing appropriate support for victims.
It is everyone’s responsibility to:
- Create and maintain a positive and respectful work environment; and
- Recognize and refrain from actions that may offend, intimidate, embarrass, or humiliate others, whether deliberate or unintentional.
This policy will ensure that:
- Individuals are aware of and understand that acts of violence, harassment, bullying, or discrimination are considered a serious offence for which necessary action will be imposed.
- Those subjected to acts of violence, harassment, bullying, or discrimination are encouraged to access any assistance they may require pursuing a complaint; and
- Individuals are advised of available recourse if they are subjected to, or become aware of, situations involving violence, harassment, micro-aggressions, bullying or discrimination.
Employees, volunteers, directors, board committee members and consultants are strongly encouraged to report any violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggressions and / or discrimination they experience or witness to their people leader / staff partner and / or the people team.
- Ensure all reasonable preventative measures to protect employees and others at Crohn’s and Colitis Canada from workplace violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggressions, and discrimination are taken.
- Conduct a workplace violence risk assessment whenever needed.
- Advise the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) of the results of the assessment and provide a copy in writing.
- Establish procedures, policies, and work environment arrangements to eliminate the risk to individuals covered by this policy from violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggressions, and discrimination.
- Ensure all employees, volunteers, directors, board committee members and consultants receive a copy of this policy for review and sign off and all employees are trained on this policy.
- Review the policy annually with the JHSC to ensure any new hazards are identified.
- Establish reporting procedures concerning workplace violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggressions, and discrimination.
- Ensure a process is in place for responding to and investigating incidents of workplace violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggressions, and discrimination.
- Confirm this policy and procedure is posted and communicated to all staff; and
- Review the policy after any workplace violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggression, or discrimination event occurs to determine if changes need to be made.
People leader responsibilities:
- Ensure this policy is properly enforced and communicated to everyone covered by this policy.
- Ensure all employees are adequately trained in the recognition of and procedures for addressing workplace violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggressions, and discrimination.
- Encourage employees to report complaints or incidents of workplace violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggression, or discrimination.
- All reports/complaints/incidents are addressed in an appropriate and timely manner; and
- All complaints or incidents are reported promptly to the people team and investigated immediately.
Employee, volunteer, director, board committee members and consultant responsibilities:
- Comply with this policy, and all related procedures always for their protection and the protection of others within the workplace.
- Immediately report any known or potential workplace violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggressions, or discrimination to their people leader and / or the people team. In the event of an extreme or imminent threat of physical harm to themselves or any person at Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, the individual should contact Emergency Services; and
- Fully cooperate with any investigation of complaints or incidents of workplace violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggression, or discrimination as indicated within this policy.
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada will not tolerate any incidents of workplace violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggression, or discrimination perpetrated against or by an employee, contractor, visitor, volunteer, Board Director donor or researcher or any other person at Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. With respect to violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggression, and discrimination as defined by this policy, any contravention may result in the following:
- Removal from the property
- Discipline; and/or
Information about a complaint or incident will not be disclosed except to the extent necessary to protect individuals covered by this policy, investigate the complaint or incident, and take corrective action or as otherwise required by law.
Procedure in the Event of an Incident or Complaint
To ensure a safe and inclusive workplace, everyone is asked to report instances in which they experience or witness violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggressions, or discrimination to the VP people or to the chair of the board if the complaint or incident is concerning a board director. When you reach out, include the following information:
- Your name, and the name(s) of the individual(s) engaged in inappropriate behaviour.
- Name(s) of the individual(s) targeted by inappropriate behaviour (if you are a witness). If you have discussed the situation with the individual(s) targeted by inappropriate behaviour and they requested to remain anonymous, please respect their wishes.
- A description of the inappropriate behaviour and scenario under which it occurred.
- Date(s) and time(s) of the event(s).
- Any additional supporting evidence.
The people team will promptly carry out an investigation. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada may use an independent third-party investigator. All reports will be investigated, and information will be kept confidential to the extent possible. The results of the investigation will be communicated to the complainant and the accused in writing as soon as possible but no later than three months from the time the complaint was made.
The investigator will undertake the following:
- A documented interview with the complainant and/or individual(s) targeted by inappropriate behaviour.
- A documented interview with the alleged perpetrator(s).
- A documented interview with any witnesses with relevant information to provide; and
- Any other steps the investigator(s) deem(s) relevant to the investigation.
During the investigation, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada may reassign or place on paid leave either or both the complainant and the individual who is the subject of the complaint or incident.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will provide a written report of the findings and any recommendations to prevent a recurrence to the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Following the investigation, the appropriate corrective action will be determined by the CEO and the VP people or chair of the board if a director is involved. The people team may be involved where appropriate (i.e., they did not complete the investigation).
There will be no reprisal for any individual making a complaint in good faith. However, if it is determined that a false accusation has been made in bad faith, appropriate measures will be taken. Everyone who is subject to workplace violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggression, or discrimination also has the option of pursuing recourse through their provincial Human Rights Tribunal, the Criminal Code and/or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Ministry of Labour or appropriate provincial equivalent, and/or other regulatory bodies may need to be contacted.
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada will support employees who are victims of violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggression, or discrimination through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Employees who are victims of violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggression, or discrimination are encouraged to seek assistance through this program and can be assured that any counselling and / or treatment administered are entirely confidential.
If any individual covered by this policy engages in workplace violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggression or discrimination, an investigation will take place immediately. The individual responsible for the violence, harassment, bullying, micro-aggression, or discrimination may face discipline, which includes termination of employment, contract, or professional relationship. The complainant(s) and witness(es) to the incident will be protected from reprisals if they have acted in good faith and have complied with health and safety legislation.
Individuals who participate in retaliatory measures will be investigated and subject to disciplinary action up to termination of employment, contract, or professional relationship.
All individuals are guaranteed a fair and impartial investigation process. The integrity of the investigation process is the joint responsibility of the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) and CEO, whose personal biases and individual relationships will never factor into the investigation. If a member of the SLT has a direct or indirect conflict of interest, they will recuse themselves from the process. If necessary to ensure fairness, investigations will be carried out by an external third party with no actual or perceived conflict of interest in the outcome.
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada employees, directors, board committee members, volunteers, consultants, must comply with the Respect in the Workplace policy, including SLT. An inclusive culture is only made possible by buy-in and cooperation from every person, regardless of their role or position.
Communication and Training
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s Respect in the Workplace policy shall be posted in the workplace on the Health and Safety Bulletin Board and on the O drive. In addition, all employees, including new or returning employees (leaves of absence of six months or more), and people leaders at all levels, will be trained on the contents of this policy and program.
Volunteers, Directors, Board Committee Members and Consultants
Volunteers, directors, board committee members and consultants receive a copy of this policy, including a review of their responsibilities and reporting procedures, as part of their onboarding and must sign off.
Questions and Concerns
People covered by this policy should consult with their people leader if they have any questions or concerns about this policy. If any question or concern regarding this policy cannot be resolved with the people leader, the matter should be raised with the people team.
Monitoring and Compliance
The VP, People is responsible for monitoring of the application and compliance of this policy direction and any related procedures in conjunction with other members of the SLT. The Respect in the Workplace policy and program will be reviewed annually or as needed with the JHSC to ensure any new hazards are identified and everyone is adequately protected from these hazards. This policy will be reviewed after any violent, harassing, bullying or discriminatory events or micro-aggressions occur to determine if any changes need to be made.
Due to the evolving nature of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s business, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada may amend this policy as it deems appropriate.
Related Policies, Legislation
Related policies and legislation include but are not limited to:
- Code of Conduct
- Resolving Community Member’s Concerns
- Provincial Occupational Health and Safety Legislation
- Human Rights Legislation
- Criminal Code; and/or
- Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.
- Any land, premises, location, or thing as, upon, in or near which an employee works.
- A workplace is wherever Crohn’s and Colitis Canada business is conducted, whether on Crohn’s and Colitis Canada property.
- Includes your home if you are working from home.
Human Rights Code (Code) Protected Grounds in Employment
- Indigenous ancestry
- Race or perceived race
- Ethnic Origin
- Place of Origin
- Family Status (including single status; called civil status in Quebec)
- Gender Identity
- Gender Expression
- Record of Offences
- Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
- Sexual Orientation
- Political belief
- Language (in Quebec)
- Association with protected groups or individuals
- Any form of unequal treatment based on the Human Rights Code protected ground that results in disadvantage, whether imposing extra burdens or denying benefits. It may be intentional or unintentional. It may involve direct actions or rules, practices or procedures that appear neutral but have the effect of disadvantaging certain groups of people. It may be obvious, or it may occur in very subtle ways.
- Discrimination need only be one factor among many factors in a decision to make a finding of discrimination.
- Engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct against an individual covered by this policy that is known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome. This includes unwelcome words or actions that are known or should be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, or demeaning to an individual or group of individuals. It includes behaviours that intimidate, isolate, or discriminate against the targeted individual(s).
- Personal harassment, such as bullying, teasing, or hazing, are also covered by this policy, as is workplace sexual harassment. It is important to note that reasonable action taken by a people leader or other manager relating to the management and direction of employees in the workplace is not workplace harassment. Even if a person does not clearly object to harassing behaviour, do not assume they have agreed to this behaviour. It could still be harassment.
- Engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct against a person 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.
- Gender-based harassment is a subset of sexual harassment. It refers to behaviour that polices and reinforces traditional heteronormative gender roles.
- Making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance can confer, grant, or deny a benefit or advancement to the individual covered by this policy, and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.
- Usually, acts or verbal comments that could psychologically or mentally hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. These actions or comments can be obvious or subtle.
- Bullying can involve negative physical contact.
- Usually involves a course of behaviour intended to intimidate, offend, degrade, or humiliate a person or group of people.
- May be one incident, especially if that one incident has a lasting effect.
- Assertion of power through aggression.
- Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Spreading malicious rumours, gossip, or innuendo.
- Excluding or isolating someone socially.
- Intimidating a person.
- Undermining or deliberately impeding a person's work.
- Physically abusing or threatening abuse.
- Removing areas of responsibility without cause.
- Constantly changing work guidelines.
- Making jokes that are obviously offensive by spoken word or through digital channels.
- Intruding on a person's privacy by pestering, spying or stalking.
- Yelling or using profanity.
- Criticizing a person persistently or constantly.
- Belittling a person's opinions.
- Unwarranted (or undeserved) punishment.
- Blocking applications for training, leave or promotion.
- Tampering with a person's personal belongings or work equipment.
- Creating a toxic work environment.
- If you are not sure an action or statement would be considered bullying, use the “reasonable person” test. Would most people consider the action unacceptable?
- Micro-aggressions refer to obvious or subtle, direct, or indirect behaviours and comments which reference an individual’s personal identity, such as their race, gender, ethnic origin, religion, or age. Over time, micro-aggressions can have lasting emotional and mental health effects on the individual or individuals targeted and can contribute to a toxic and non-inclusive workplace.
- Examples of micro-aggressions in the workplace can include, but are not limited to:
- Calling a woman “bossy.”
- Repeatedly calling a racialized employee by the name of a different person of the same race.
- Asking a racialized employee where they are “really” from.
- Commenting on a person’s physical appearance around racial characteristics such as skin tone.
- Scheduling meetings or important deadlines on religious or cultural holidays.
- The use of physical force by a person against an individual covered by this policy in a workplace that causes or could cause physical injury to the individual.
- Statement or behaviour that an individual covered by this policy could reasonably interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the individual in a workplace that could cause physical injury to the employee.
- Includes threats, harassment, verbal abuse, bullying behaviours and intimidation, regardless of whom it is directed at.
- Any individual covered by this policy, or knowledge of another person, experiencing violence outside of the workplace that may create a risk of danger to themselves or others in the workplace is encouraged to report such violence to their people leader and / or the people team so necessary precautions may be taken to protect everyone.
Strategic Leadership Team - The most senior level of leadership within Crohn’s and Colitis Canada comprised of the President and CEO, and Vice Presidents.
People Leader – a person to whom an individual directly reports, or the chair of the board/board committee member, or a key point of contact for a particular initiative or event.