Harassment and Discrimination Policy
Updated - 08/21/2015
I. POLICY STATEMENT
The Carleton Place Curling Club is committed to creating and maintaining an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination on prohibited grounds, including race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, political opinion, creed, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital/family status, language and any other discrimination or harassment prohibited by applicable law. This policy is consistent, at the time of writing, with the policy set by the Ontario Curling Association for Harassment and Discrimination.
The Harassment and Discrimination Policy is a preventative rather than a reactive or punitive document, and is directed to the spirit of the following guiding principles:
- Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the general protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, nationality or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, Section 15).
- It is public policy in Ontario to recognize the dignity and worth of every person and to provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination that is contrary to law, and having as its aim the creation of a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person so that each person feels a part of the community and able to contribute fully to the development and well-being of the community and the Province. (Human Rights Code, Ontario, RSO 1990, Chapter H.19).
In keeping with these principles, the Carleton Place Curling Club has the responsibility to ensure that all practices, processes, procedures and personnel within the Club contribute to the promotion of a positive work and sporting environment. To this end, the Carleton Place Curling Club must deal with incidents of harassment and discrimination when they arise.
- “Business” means the business of operating the Carleton Place Curling Club, which includes the Web site.
- “Member” or “Membership” means a membership in the Carleton Place Curling Club.
- “we”, “us”, “our” and the “Club” refer to the Carleton Place Curling Club Limited, located at 120 Patterson Cres., Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada and/or http://www.cpcurling.ca.
- “Web site” refers to the web site found at http://www.cpcurling.ca.
- “Bullying” refers to the use of superior strength or influence to intimidate and to force someone to do what one wants. It includes the use of threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively impose domination over others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Examples of bullying may include (but are not limited to) use of electronic communication to threaten, insult or otherwise demean another person who is a member of the Club. Such behaviour on or off the ice by adults, teens or children using the Club facilities will not be tolerated and will be subject to the sanctions of this policy.
- “Committee” or “the Committee” shall mean the Harassment and Discrimination Committee. The Committee shall include the president, vice-president and three (3) members at large, who may or may not be a members of the Board.
- Condonation - If a person in authority knows or, should reasonably have known that discrimination or harassment may have occurred and fails to take appropriate action, the person in authority has condoned the discrimination or harassment and may be subject to sanctions under these guidelines.
- Discrimination - Discrimination refers to any conduct, whether intentional or not, which has the effect of imposing burdens, obligations or disadvantages on an individual that are not imposed on others, or which withholds or limits access to opportunities, benefits and advantages available to others.
- Harassment - Harassment refers to conduct which the perpetrator knew or ought reasonably to have known would be unwelcome. Harassment can take many forms but generally involves conduct, comment or display that is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, demeaning, belittling, malicious, degrading or otherwise causes offence, discomfort, or personal humiliation or embarrassment to a person or group of persons.
- Sexual Harassment - Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- submitting to or rejecting this conduct can affect decisions about the individual;
- the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual’s performance; or
- the conduct detrimentally affects the environment.
- Reprisal - Reprisals are acts or threats of retaliation designed to punish an individual who has reported discrimination or harassment, particularly where the reprisal or threat of reprisal is by a person in authority. In sexual harassment situations, reprisals can also include: acts of retaliation to punish an individual who has rejected sexual advances; and threats of retaliation if sexual advances are rejected.
IV. PREVENTION - PRINCIPLES
Education and communication are critical to achieving a Club environment free of harassment and discrimination. The Board of Directors, Club employees, and members, should:
- communicate the Club’s objective to create and maintain an environment free of harassment and discrimination;
- model behavior in keeping with these principles; and
- exercise good judgment and initiate appropriate action in consultation with the Committee if they become aware that discrimination or harassment may have occurred. At this time, intervention becomes the focus.
V. INTERVENTION - PRINCIPLES
It is important to remember that individuals who experience discrimination or harassment are often reluctant to report it. A Club member who is aware that this has happened should advocate for that individual and support their efforts to report the incident(s). It is also important to be mindful of the rights of the accused in these proceedings.
- Remedies provided under this policy are intended:
- to resolve complaints fairly and acceptably to both complainant and accused; and
- to recommend appropriate disciplinary measures for individuals who are found to have committed acts of personal harassment or discrimination.
- Staff and members of the Committee who receive information with respect to a complaint are required to maintain this information in confidence. However, the Club reserves the right to disclose information as necessary to ensure the health, safety and security of members of the Club and in response to any legal obligation to disclose.
- The complainant, accused and witnesses are to be treated fairly and impartially. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to reasonable notice, protection of privacy (unless the offence is deemed criminal in nature), and the opportunity to be heard by impartial decision makers.
- Wherever possible, allegations will be resolved by the Informal Complaint process. Formal proceedings under this policy will be initiated only after informal resolution has been declined as an option, or an informal resolution of the complaint has been attempted and has failed.
- Complaints of alleged assault or other alleged criminal actions will be referred to the appropriate police service.
VI. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
- Informal Process
- Member(s) or employees of the Club who feel they have been harassed or discriminated against are encouraged, where appropriate, to make a direct request to the perpetrator to stop the offensive behavior.
- The individual should provide a written complaint which will include particulars of the event(s), including dates, times, locations, description of action, account of dialogue, the name of the perpetrator(s) and any witnesses.
- The written complaint should be made as soon as possible after the alleged incident, but must be made within ninety (90) days of the alleged incident. The complaint may be brought to the attention of any Committee member, who will inform the Club President. The Club President will appoint a Committee Chair and inform Committee members of the complaint.
- Upon receipt of a signed complaint, the Committee Chair will consult with the complainant and will appoint a Committee member to mediate a resolution. The Committee member will meet with the both complainant and accused to explain the procedures.
- Following consultation, the complainant will indicate whether he/she elects to withdraw the complaint or proceed with an attempt to resolve the complaint informally.
- If the complainant elects to resolve the complaint informally, the complainant will provide a written authorization for the Committee member to proceed.
- The Committee member will forward a copy of the complaint to the accused within five working days and request a response within ten working days.
- The Committee member will meet with the complainant and the accused individually or together in an attempt to achieve a fair and acceptable resolution. The complainant and accused may each be accompanied by an advisor of their choice, at their own cost, (counsellor, lawyer, etc.) at any time during this process. The process may result in a mutually acceptable resolution, withdrawal of the complaint or failure to resolve. At this point, the Committee member will provide a report to the Committee setting out:
- the background of the case, including the allegations;
- the steps taken to resolve the complaint; and
- recommendations, which may include:
- that no further action be taken because a resolution has been achieved or the complaint has been withdrawn;
- that a Formal Complaint Panel be appointed to hear the complaint; or
- that no further action be taken because the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or without foundation.
- A copy of the report shall be sent to the complainant and accused.
- In the event of the withdrawal of the complaint, or a resolution, documents pertaining to the case will be kept by the Chair of the Committee, or in safekeeping in the office of the Club.
- Formal Process
- A Formal Complaint process will be undertaken if the complainant is unsatisfied with the outcome of the Informal process.
- The Committee shall receive the original complaint and all supporting documents. The panel will consult with both parties with respect to:
- date, time and duration of the hearing;
- names of any witnesses to be called; and
- the documents which are to be submitted.
- The panel will make every effort to convene a hearing within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the request.
- Either party may be accompanied by an advisor, at their own cost. In the event that one party does not appear at the meeting despite reasonable notice, the committee may proceed with the hearing in their absence.
- Upon completion of the hearing, the panel will provide its findings to the parties in writing within thirty (30) days.
- If the panel finds that the accused’s conduct has fallen within the definition of personal or sexual harassment, discrimination or bullying, it will recommend to the Club President that disciplinary and/or remedial action be taken. Disciplinary action may include a reprimand, suspension, demotion, dismissal, expulsion, or such actions as may be deemed appropriate.
- Grounds for Appeal by the Accused
- The accused may appeal to the Committee on the following grounds:
- that the investigation was conducted in an unfair or biased manner contrary to the rules of natural justice; or
- that the findings of fact contained in the investigation report are insufficient to support a determination that discrimination or harassment has been established.
- In such an appeal, the complainant will be entitled to participate as a respondent in the appeal.
- The accused may also appeal to the Committee related to the sanction(s) imposed or recommended following a complaint. In such an appeal, the complainant will be advised by the Committee that an appeal has been filed, and shall be entitled to make written representations.
- The accused may appeal to the Committee on the following grounds:
- Grounds for Appeal by the Complainant
- The complainant may appeal to the Committee on the following grounds:
- that the investigation was conducted in an unfair or biased manner contrary to rules of natural justice; or
- that the findings of fact contained in the investigation report ought to have resulted in a determination that discrimination or harassment has been established.
- In such an appeal, the accused will be entitled to participate as a respondent in the appeal.
- The complainant may also appeal to the Committee related to the sanction(s) imposed or recommended following a complaint. In such an appeal, the accused will be advised by the Committee that an appeal has been filed, and shall be entitled to make written representations.
- The complainant may appeal to the Committee on the following grounds:
Once the appeal has been received:
- The Chair of the Committee will present the facts to the entire Committee for review.
- All statements and disclosures made, information furnished and documents and evidence provided or presented by the parties or any persons at the appeal are without prejudice to either side.
- At the hearing, the parties may appear with an advisor of their choice, at their own cost. Each party will present their case to the Committee, and have the opportunity to question the other party and witnesses called by the other party.
- After the completion of the hearing, the Committee may decide:
- to implement the recommendation of the Committee member; or
- to allow the appeal and request the Chair to convene a hearing panel to hear the complaint according to the rules set down in the formal complaint procedure. Although proceedings under the formal complaint procedure are not governed by the Statutory Powers Procedure Act, procedures shall generally conform to the minimum procedural rules as required by the Statutory Powers Procedure Act (RSO 1990, s. 22).
There shall be no retaliation or reprisals against any person as a result of their attempts to enforce rights or obligations under this policy.
VIII. RECORD KEEPING
- The Chair of the Committee shall keep a secure record of every report and complaint under these guidelines. The record shall contain all relevant documentation, including:
- details of the report(s) and/or a copy of the complaint(s);
- the response(s), if any;
- the terms of reference of the investigator, if any
- the interim measures, if any;
- any witness statements;
- the investigation report, if any;
- the terms of any informal resolution or written resolution agreement;
- the sanctions imposed, if any;
- all other correspondence;
- any appeal(s) filed;
- any material pertaining to an appeal; and
- any minutes of the Board of Directors related to the complaint or appeal process.
- To the extent possible, reports, complaints, witness statements and other documents produced under these guidelines shall be held in safekeeping in the Club.
- Circumstances in which information will be shared include:
- when required by law;
- when required to protect others from harassment or discrimination;
- when required to ensure fairness or natural justice in the procedures contemplated by these guidelines;
- when required to protect the interests of the Carleton Place Curling Club.