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Equitable Treatment, Bullying & Harassment

APPLICABILITY

This policy deals with Discrimination and Harassment on the Prohibited Grounds of Discrimination set out in the British Columbia Human Rights Code, it also addresses Sexual Harassment, and Personal Harassment including Bullying.   This policy is of TRIUMF wide scope and addresses all employee categories and levels; it extends to all individuals connected with TRIUMF and with the TRIUMF program, regardless of their location, university affiliation or employer.

INTENT

TRIUMF is committed to providing all staff with a respectful workplace and a safe environment free from discrimination, bullying and harassment.  Nothing in this policy is intended to prohibit discrimination based upon bona fide and reasonable occupational requirements.

 To that end, TRIUMF will:

  •   not discriminate against employees with regard to terms or conditions of employment on the grounds of race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, nationality, place of origin, political affiliation or activities, disability, or conviction of an offense for which a pardon has been granted.
  •  take steps to ensure that each employee is free from discrimination or harassment in the workplace by other employees because of race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, nationality, place of origin, political affiliation or activities, disability or conviction of an offense for which a pardon has been granted.
  •  take steps to ensure that each employee is free from bullying or harassment including: 

                - personal intimidation in the form of aggression, which  may include physical, verbal, electronic or
                   emotional abuse,  and which is offensive to another employee and endangers that employee’s job or undermines
                  the employee’s work performance.
               - sexual solicitation or advance made by a person in a position to grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the
                  employee. 
                -  reprisal or threat of reprisal for the rejection of sexual solicitation or advance where the reprisal is made or
                  threatened by a person in a position to grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the employee.
 
  •  investigate allegations of discrimination, bullying and harassment in an objective and comprehensive manner.

 

DEFINITIONS (For the purpose of this policy)

“Bullying” shall mean a course of inappropriate conduct or comments by a person towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that worker to be humiliated or intimidate, and excludes any reasonable actions taken by an employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers at the place of employment.

 Discrimination shall mean the act of making a difference in treatment, favor, or attitude toward an employee on a basis other than individual merit.

  Harassment shall mean: 

  •  a course of comment or conduct consisting of words or actions that cause humiliation or serious  offence to a person in relation to one of the grounds outlined in 3) above.
  • engaging in a course of comment, conduct, gesture or contact of a sexual nature that is known, or ought reasonably  to be known, to be unwelcome

Harassment does not mean:

·         interpersonal conflict or disagreement;

·         the use of appropriate performance management or workplace discipline; or

·       action where the harm by any objective standard is fleeting

 “Person” includes any individual, whether or not they are employed by TRIUMF, including a client, user, contractor, or anyone a TRIUMF worker comes into contact with at the workplace.

 “Reasonable Person” is a person who exercises the degree of attention, knowledge, intelligence, and judgment that society requires of its members for the protection of their own and of others’ interests.  The reasonable person acts sensible, does things without serious delay, and takes proper but not excessive precautions.

 Complainant refers to an individual who has reasonable cause to believe he/she has been harassed or discriminated against.

 "Respondent" referes to a person against whom a complaint is made.

 

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

The complaint procedure is available to resolve complaints regarding inequitable treatment, bullying or harassment as defined by this policy.  Prior to formalizing a complaint to HR, the employee must make every effort to either resolve the matter with his/her supervisor, or take steps to resolve the matter with assistance from his/her Division Head, or a member of the appropriate Liaison Committee, or seek guidance from the Human Resources Manager, as he/she is mandated to advise and guide employees and to resolve issues where possible outside of the formal complaint process.

 To initiate the complaint procedure, the employee must submit a written statement to the Human Resource Manager stating the following:

a) that the complaint is made per Policy No. 13

b) a full description of the situation and issues, including dates, locations and any witnesses

c) the initial steps taken to resolve the matter

d) the reason why there was not a satisfactory resolution

e) the resolution now sought through this complaint procedure

 

This statement must be submitted as soon as possible, but normally no later than thirty (30) working days after the incident(s) in question.

Human Resources Discretionary Review:    When a formal complaint is submitted, the Human Resources Manager shall initially, within 48 hours, review the complaint and may decide not to proceed with a formal resolution of the complaint where, in the opinion of the Manager, in consultation with the Head of Administration, the complaint:

a. is not within the jurisdiction of the Policy; or

b. is trivial, frivolous, or vexatious; or

c. has been delayed to such an extent as to be seen as vexatious; or

d. is primarily an issue of interpersonal conflict; or

d. is being or has been fairly and adequately addressed by the BC Human Rights Tribunal or some  other legal process. Under these circumstances the Manager may decide to put the complaint in abeyance pending the outcome of another process

In this instance the complainant will be notified verbally and in writing of the decision.

 

If the complaint is deemed valid, the Human Resource Manager will notify the respondent in writing within 72 hours, as well as the responsible supervisor and Division Head, that an issue of bullying, harassment or discrimination has been brought to his/her attention.  The HR Manager will then establish an investigation panel (which will include a representative from the appropriate liaison committee), coordinate a thorough investigation following the investigative procedures outlined below, and make every effort to arrive at a satisfactory resolution.   A written response will be provided to the employee within ten (10) days of the written statement being received.

 

  CONFIDENTIALITY:  All parties involved in an alleged complaint are bound to maintain confidentiality throughout all stages of the investigation process, so as to ensure that the privacy and reputation of all parties concerned are protected.  All parties involved may include the Director, Division Heads, Managers, Group Leaders, Supervisors, Investigating Parties, Liaison Committee Representatives, the Respondent the Complainant and any other individuals privy to the complaint such as witnesses.

 

  INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES

All investigations of alleged bullying, discrimination or harassment shall be conducted as per the following:

a) who is the employee(s) involved?

b) what precisely happened? (What, when, where, why, how, etc.)

c) is there corroborating evidence? If so what.

d) what is the relevant standard of conduct that was breached?

e) what is the impact of the conduct on the employee or other employees?

f) has this happened before, and if so what actions were taken

g) what is the behavioral history of the employees or persons involved

 

RESOLUTION:  If an investigation confirms that bullying, discrimination or harassment under the terms of this policy has occurred, the Human Resources Manager may resolve the complaint and/or make recommendations as deemed appropriate in the circumstance, which may include, but are not limited to:

  •   resolving the complaint by consent of the complainant and the respondent, through discussion 
  •   recommending measures to remedy or prevent the effects of the conduct and restore the complainant’s and/or           respondent’s relationship, work environment or group to effective functioning 
  •  recommending to the appropriate Division Head the imposition of discipline on the respondent or, in cases where         it is  determined  that the complaint was frivolous, vexatious or malicious,  on the complainant 
  •  dismissing the complaint 

 

Note:  No resolution of a complaint that may adversely affect the academic, employment, or professional interests of a party shall proceed without giving that party the opportunity to fully respond to the complaint.


APPEAL PROCEDURE 

Complainants and or respondents may appeal a decision that is made under these procedures through written communication tothe Head of Administration and Business.     Complainants and or respondents may also have recourse to processes outside of TRIUMF, such as filing a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

 

 

RESPONSIBILITY 

While it is readily understood that bullying, discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated, it is equally important that employees recognize that these are extremely serious allegations.  Employees must refrain from misusing this Policy by submitting complaints related to normal, job-related activities, or by submitting frivolous or vexatious complaints.  To that end:

 

  •  It is the responsibility of every individual to conduct themselves in a professional manner as per this policy.

 

  •  It is the responsibility of employees acting in a supervisory or management capacity to conduct themselves in a      manner consistent with this policy; and, upon becoming aware of an infraction under this policy, for  attempting to deal with it whether or not a formal complaint has been made.
  •  It is the responsibility of Division Heads to ensure that all employees within their division are made aware of this policy;  that this policy is complied with; and that appropriate remedial action is applied when  necessary or when recommended.
  •  It is the responsibility of the Human Resource Manager to coordinate and facilitate all investigations; to document the situation fully and make recommendations; to counsel those involved in the complaint;  and provide advice and assistance to all other parties involved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov. 1st, 2013