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Writers' Trust Anti-Harassment Policy

 

Intent

Writers’ Trust of Canada (WT) is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity in any place where they engage in WT business, activities, or social events. WT does not condone behaviour that undermines the dignity or productivity of any individual in the WT Workplace. Violence and harassment in the WT Workplace, in any form, and from any person, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

 

Definitions

Under the terms of this Policy:

“Covered Persons” means writers, whether they be jurors, funding recipients, or advisory board members, and WT employees, board members, and volunteers.

The “WT Workplace” means any place where Covered Persons engage in WT business, activities, or social events.

“Workplace Harassment” means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a Covered Person that is known or ought to be known to be unwelcome or Workplace Sexual Harassment (further defined below).   Bullying and abuse of power are considered to be forms of harassment.  Reasonable actions taken by WT relating to the management and direction of Covered Persons is not Workplace Harassment.

“Workplace Sexual Harassment” means: (a) engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a Covered Person in the WT 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, or (b) making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the employee and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.

 

Responsibilities

All Covered Persons are responsible for ensuring that their conduct in the WT Workplace is appropriate and does not harass, discriminate against, or create a hostile or toxic workplace environment for any other person.  Covered Persons are also responsible for reporting incidents of Workplace Harassment that they witness or experience in the WT Workplace. This may be done on a confidential basis.

As set out in the Canadian human rights legislation, individuals have the right to be free from discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, race, marital status, gender identity or expression, creed, age, colour, disability, or religious belief.

 

Grievance Process

Any Covered Person who believes that they are the subject of Workplace Harassment or who have witnessed Workplace Harassment should report such incidents to the Executive Director and/or Chair of the Board of Directors as soon as possible after the incident.   

WT is fully committed to maintaining procedures for the anonymous and confidential reporting of incidents or complaints. Generally, and unless otherwise consented to by the Covered Person making the complaint or incident report, a report of a complaint or incident will only be disclosed to those persons who need to be aware of such information in order to properly carry out the processes described below.

The Executive Director and the Chair of the Board of Directors are the primary persons designated investigators for incidents of harassment. If the Executive Director and Chair are unavailable, or if they are the subject/object of the complaint or incident, the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors, the Chair of the Governance Committee of the Board of Directors, or any other member of the WT Board of Directors designated by the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors (as the case may be), and the Chair of the Governance Committee may be called upon for assistance, advice, or to act as a designated investigator. Contact coordinates for the Executive Director, the Chair of the Board of Directors and the Chair of the Governance Committee are listed as Appendix A of this Policy.

Complaints or information relating to Workplace Harassment may be made verbally or in writing, on a confidential basis, and should identify the specific incident of alleged Workplace Harassment and include sufficient information to allow it to be investigated further.   All grievances, concerns, complaints, or incidents of harassment in the WT environment will be investigated and dealt with in a fair and timely manner while respecting the confidentiality of both complainant(s) and respondent(s).

The steps taken will vary depending on the nature of the allegations but will generally involve private interviews with the Covered Person making the complaint, with the person alleged to have engaged in inappropriate behaviour, and with any witnesses, as well as a review of any documents relevant to the complaint.  In certain circumstances, a third-party investigator may be selected by the Executive Director, the Chair of the Board of Directors, or the Chair of the Governance Committee, to conduct the investigation. The person alleged to have engaged in inappropriate conduct will be given the opportunity to respond to the specific allegations.

Within a reasonable period following the completion of the investigation, the Covered Person(s) who made the complaint and the person(s) against whom the complaint was made will be informed in writing of the results of the investigation and any corrective action taken or that will be taken by WT.

Any Covered Person who engages in Workplace Harassment will be subject to corrective action which may range from a warning to termination of employment for cause without further notice, or other sanctions, depending on the circumstances.

Nothing in this policy prevents or discourages any Covered Person from filing an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Canada on a matter related to Canada’s Human Rights Commission. Any Covered Person also retains the right to exercise any other legal avenues that may be available.

 

Edited April 2019

Appendix A - Contact Information