Statement of Purpose
The Library is committed to supporting a positive and respectful workplace for all employees. This policy builds on the recognition expressed by both the Employer and the Union in the Collective Agreement that employees have the right to work in an environment free from personal and sexual harassment and on the definitions and terms in the relevant Collective Agreement articles.
The purpose of this policy is to assist all employees in identifying and preventing workplace harassment. It is intended to promote the well-being of every employee and to foster the values of integrity and trust that are essential for a sound organization.
Nothing in this policy is intended to conflict with or override the terms of the Collective Agreement or employment contracts.
This policy applies to all Library employees. The terms of the policy apply to all situations where activities are connected to employment at the Library and could impact on employment both at the workplace and away from the workplace. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Activities on Library premises;
- Work assignments outside of Library premises;
- Work-related functions; conferences, training sessions, and seminars;
- Work-related travel;
- Telephone conversations;
- Electronic communication, including email and social networking sites.
This policy is not intended to constrain social interaction between employees.
The Employer recognizes that Library employees may be subjected to workplace harassment by outside parties. In those circumstances the Employer acknowledges its responsibility to support and assist employees subjected to such harassment.
Workplace harassment includes personal harassment, sexual harassment and retaliation. It is one or a series of incidents involving unwelcome comments or actions concerning a person's race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, age, sex (includes gender, sexuality, and pregnancy), sexual orientation, or a criminal conviction unrelated to employment that detrimentally affects the work environment or leads to adverse job-related consequences for the victim(s) of the harassment.
Examples of workplace harassment include the following as they pertain to a prohibited ground of discrimination:
- Verbal conduct, such as epithets, derogatory comments, slurs, offensive remarks, jokes, innuendo, abusive language, unwelcome attention of a sexual nature such as questions or remarks about sex life, invitations, and remarks about physical appearance.
- Visual conduct such as leering, derogatory posters, cartoons, drawings, gestures, displays of sexually explicit, racist, or other offensive or derogatory material.
- Physical conduct, such as unwelcome physical contact including touching, patting, assault, or blocking normal movement.
- Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests in order to keep one's job or to avoid some other loss, and offers of job benefits in return for sexual favours.
This policy is intended to respect the rights of anyone who may be involved in a complaint and to ensure that the interests of all those involved in the complaint process are protected.
Workplace harassment does not include every workplace conflict or interaction that an employee may find unpleasant. The harassment process should not be used to vent feelings or minor discontent or a feeling of dissatisfaction with life in the workplace.
Reasonable day-to-day managerial functions and activities such as work assignment and progressive discipline are not considered personal harassment under the Collective Agreement or this policy.
Every reasonable effort will be made to keep matters relating to alleged workplace harassment confidential. Anyone involved in an investigation of an alleged incident must keep confidential the names of any other party or any circumstances related to the complaint except as necessary to report or investigate an incident, take action flowing from an investigation, or as required by law. Information will be disclosed only to the extent required to:
- Protect the safety and security of any individual involved in a complaint, or any other Library employee or person where a reasonable concern for their safety is identified;
- Conduct a proper and fair investigation;
- Comply with the law or litigation.
Roles & Responsibilities
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for overseeing this policy. The CEO may appoint a designate to be responsible for the day-to-day administration and stewardship of the policy. The CEO will execute the roles and responsibilities of the designate should an allegation involve the designate. In the event an allegation involves the CEO the matter will be dealt with in-camera by the Library Board who will determine and assign responsibility for the investigation and disposition of the matter.
|Approved by the Greater Victoria Public Library Board:||March 16, 1987|
|Reviewed by the Policy & Program Development Committee:||November 17, 2009|
|Amended by the Greater Victoria Public Library Board:||November 24, 2009