Workplace Violence & Harassment

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is committed to provide a safe and healthy work environment and to promote the general health and well-being of staff. 
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada upholds a zero tolerance policy on workplace harassment and violence. This policy applies to all Crohn’s and Colitis Canada staff, volunteers, donors, contractors, including anyone who visits Crohn’s and Colitis Canada offices and/or attends Crohn’s and Colitis Canada events. Everyone is expected to uphold this policy and to take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment and violence in the workplace. 

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act defines "workplace violence" as:

  1. the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker,
  2. an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker, 
  3. a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.
It includes domestic violence that is carried over into the workplace. 
The Ontario Human Rights Commission defines “workplace harassment” as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace -- a comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Harassment may also relate to a form of discrimination as set out in the federal and provincial Ontario Human Rights Codes, but it does not have to be. 
It includes “sexual harassment” which is any vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of his/her sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. 
It includes “psychological harassment” or “personal harassment.” The Quebec Labour Standards Act uses the term “psychological harassment,” a term which refers to vexatious and repeated behaviour; it is hostile or unwanted by the employee; it affects the dignity or physical or psychological integrity of the employee; and creates a harmful work environment.

Any employee who feels threatened or harassed, or is aware of the risk of workplace harassment or violence must promptly inform their immediate manager or Human Resources. There will be no negative consequences resulting from reports of workplace harassment and violence when made in good faith. 
Managers must adhere to this policy and support the program. Managers are responsible for ensuring that measures and procedures are followed by staff members and that all employees have the information they need to protect themselves. 
Human Resources, with the cooperation of the employee and manager, will conduct an initial risk assessment of the situation, and take appropriate measures to deal with the level of risk involved. These measures include, but are not limited to the following:
  • confidential discussion and resolution among all parties involved, including the establishment of specific measures to monitor the situation 
  • disciplinary action 
  • professional counselling 
  • participation of legal counsel 
  • participation of police 
Management will investigate reported risks, threats and incidents of harassment and violence in the workplace in a fair and timely manner, and will respect the privacy of all concerned. Human Resources will maintain incident reports and all other documents related to harassment and violence in the workplace. 
The Occupational Health and Safety Act provides that any employee may refuse to work in or near his/her work area if he/she is in danger of imminent workplace violence. The police must be contacted immediately if a violent threat is occurring, or if someone is in imminent danger. 
Nothing in this policy prevents or discourages an employee from filing an application with the Human Rights Tribunal on a matter related to the provincial Human Rights Codes within one year of the last alleged incident. An employee also retains the right to exercise any other legal avenues that may be available.

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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