Workplace Violence & Harassment Policy
Carraway Inc. is committed to building and preserving a safe working environment for its employees. In pursuit of this goal, Carraway Inc. does not condone and will not tolerate acts of violence or harassment against or by any company employee. In accordance with the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, Carraway Inc. will take every reasonable precaution and implement measures to prevent violence and harassment and protect all employees from these situations.
This policy is not meant to stop free speech or to interfere with everyday interactions. However, what one person finds innocent, others may find offensive. Usually, harassment can be distinguished from normal, mutually acceptable socializing. It is important to remember it is the perception of the person receiving the message which may be deemed objectionable or unwelcome, be it spoken, a gesture, a picture, or some other form of communication, that determines whether something is acceptable or not.
Applicable partner: If the employer has a policy committee dedicated to workplace violence and harassment, then the “applicable partner” is the policy committee; if there is no policy committee, this means the health and safety representative.
Complainant: The person who has made a complaint about another individual who they believe committed an act of violence or harassment against them.
Designated recipient: The person to be notified of an occurrence. This could be the HR professional, business owner, or another designated person.
Harassment and violence: Any action, conduct, or comment, including of a sexual nature, that can reasonably be expected to cause offence, humiliation, or other physical or psychological injury or illness to an employee, including any prescribed action, conduct, or comment.
Reprisal: Any act or threat of retaliation, whether direct or indirect, against a person who claims their rights or acts in good faith.
Respondent: The person whom another individual has accused of committing an act of violence or harassment.
This policy has been developed in consultation with Federal and Provincial governing laws. It will be reviewed annually, or more frequently if necessary to ensure that it accurately represents the Carraway Inc. prevention program.
Carraway Inc. will not tolerate any form of violence, harassment, sexual harassment, or discrimination against any individual, including job candidates, employees, managers, or clients. This commitment applies to training, performance, assessment, promotions, transfers, layoffs, remuneration, and all other employment practices and working conditions. Carraway Inc. will take all reasonable measures to prevent incidents of violence and harassment in the workplace, respond to any occurrences, and provide support to those who are affected by violence or harassment.
Every Carraway Inc. employee will be held personally accountable and responsible for enforcing this policy and must make every effort to prevent violence, discrimination, or harassment while at work. As such, employees must report every incident of violence or harassment of any kind immediately, whether it was observed, happened to them personally, or the problem was reported to them. Occurrences of violence or harassment should be reported in writing or orally to the Human Resources Manager, Silvia Santos.
For the purposes of this policy, violence and harassment can occur:
At the workplace;
At employment-related social functions;
In the course of work assignments outside the workplace;
During work-related travel;
Over the telephone, if the conversation is work-related; or
Elsewhere, if the person has suffered an act of violence or harassment is there as a result of work-related responsibilities or a work-related relationship.
Carraway Inc. will:
Investigate all reported occurrences of violence or harassment.
Respond to the complainant, respondent, and witness within seven days after receiving notice of an occurrence and informing them of the details as outlined in the legislation.
Consult with other parties, such as legal counsel, human rights office, or local police services regarding the incident or act, where applicable.
Take all reasonable measures to eliminate or mitigate risks identified by an incident.
Respond to and document incidents, investigations, and all corrective action taken.
Accept, in good faith, all complaints of violence or harassment from current employees and any former employees within three months of the employee leaving Carraway Inc.
Provide required training to employees.
The applicable partner (the policy committee, workplace committee, or health and safety committee) will jointly work with the employer to:
Identify required training;
Review and update processes as necessary;
Determine which recommendations are to be implemented once a resolution is reached;
Review results of any workplace hazard assessments and provide recommendations to management to reduce or eliminate the risk of violence; and
Recommend corrective measures for the improvement of the overall health, safety, and wellness of employees.
Together, Carraway Inc. and the applicable partner will:
Conduct a workplace assessment and ensure appropriate documentation aligns with the assessment;
Develop emergency procedures; and
Review and update processes as necessary.
In addition, the Joint Health & Safety Committee will not participate in investigations of reported violence and harassment incidents in order to maintain confidentiality for parties involved. Details will only be disclosed where necessary for investigating a complaint or taking disciplinary measures.
The employer and an applicable partner will conduct a joint workplace assessment. The assessment will consist of two parts: identification of risk factors and development and implementation of preventive measures.
IDENTIFICATION OF RISK FACTORS
Risk factors (internal and external) contribute to harassment and violence. This part must assess:
The culture, conditions, activities, and organizational structure of the workplace;
Circumstances external to the workplace, such as family violence, that could give rise to harassment and violence in the workplace;
Any reports, records, and data that are related to harassment and violence in the workplace;
The physical design of the workplace; and
The measures in place to protect psychological health and safety in the workplace.
DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PREVENTIVE MEASURES
Within six months after the risk factors are identified, the employer and applicable partner must jointly:
Develop preventive measures that mitigate the risk of harassment and violence in the workplace and neither create nor increase the risk of harassment and violence in the workplace; and
Develop an implementation plan for the preventive measures and implement the preventive measures.
Carraway Inc. will update the assessment to reflect changes to the information listed above as necessary, and will jointly review and update every three years as required. A review may be triggered by multiple occurrences of the same matters. Those who identify risk factors must be qualified to do so by virtue of their training, education, or experience.
VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT REPORTING PROCEDURES
Every employee is entitled to employment free from discrimination and harassment. If any employee feels discriminated against or harassed in any way, they can and should, in all confidence and without fear of reprisal, personally report the occurrence to the Human Resources Department, this can be done by completing the Workplace Violence & Harassment Complaint form available online at www.carraway.ca/employee.
If the alleged harasser is the Human Resources Manager or in a position of authority, the complainant is welcome to file a complaint with the Managing Director, Owais Memon.
The complaint should include the following information:
The date and time of each incident;
The name of the persons involved in the incident;
The name of any person who witnessed the incident; and
A full description of what occurred.
Employees must report any violence or potentially violent situations immediately to the Human Resources Manager. Reports must be submitted in writing. All reports will be kept confidential and only shared with necessary individuals when required. Carraway Inc. will respond to, investigate, and attempt to resolve all reports as soon as possible.
Any employee or individual who threatens harasses, or abuses another employee or any other individual at or from the workplace will be subject to:
Disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment;
Immediate termination of service agreements; or
Pursuit of legal action.
Violent action, threats, and assault are considered serious criminal offences and Carraway Inc. will undertake disciplinary measures, up to and including termination.
INVESTIGATING REPORTS OF VIOLENCE OR HARASSMENT
Once a written or verbal complaint has been received, Carraway Inc. will complete a thorough investigation. All efforts will be made to first resolve complaints through negotiated resolution or conciliation. Employees will not be demoted, dismissed, disciplined, or denied a promotion, advancement, or employment opportunity because they rejected sexual advances or because they lodged a complaint when they honestly believed they were being harassed or discriminated against.
The investigator must be:
Trained in investigative techniques;
Have knowledge, training, and experience relevant to harassment and violence in the workplace; and
Have knowledge of relevant legislation.
The investigation will include:
Informing the respondent of the complaint;
Interviewing the complainant, any persons involved in the incident, and any identified witnesses; and
Interviewing any other persons who may have knowledge of the incident.
Statements from all parties involved will be taken and a decision will be made. If necessary, Carraway Inc. may employ outside assistance or request the use of legal counsel. Where the investigation determines that harassment has occurred, a written report of the remedial action taken will be given to the employees concerned.
A copy of the complaint, detailing the complainant’s allegations, will be provided to the respondent. The respondent is invited to reply in writing to the complainant’s allegations. The reply will be made known to the complainant before the case proceeds. Carraway Inc. will take all measures to prevent any unnecessary disclosure of the incident and the identities of the parties.
If the complainant decides not to lay a formal complaint, the Human Resources Manager may decide that a formal complaint is required based on the investigation of the incident, and will file such documents with the persons against whom the complaint is laid.
If harassment or sexual harassment has occurred, appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken immediately.
A witness may provide notice of an occurrence anonymously.
RESULTS OF INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION
Carraway Inc. or the designated recipient will work with the complainant and respondent to resolve an occurrence within 45 days. If further investigation is required, the complaint may not be resolved within 45 days.
If the occurrence is investigated and cannot be resolved through negotiated resolution or conciliation, then upon completion of an investigation, Carraway Inc. will inform both the complainant and respondent in writing of the findings of the investigation and any corrective action that has been or will be taken as a result of the investigation. This written notification will be provided within 30 days of the investigation being completed, and will not include the investigation report unless required by law.
The police should be contacted immediately when an occurrence posts an immediate danger to the health and safety of an employee or when there is a threat of such occurrence. If an employee feels threatened by a coworker, volunteer, contractor, student, vendor, visitor, or client or customer, an immediate call to 911 is required.
If an employee has a court order, also known as a restraining order or no-contact order, against an individual, the employee is encouraged to notify their supervisor, manager, or human resources of the situation and provide a copy of the order. This will be required particularly in situations where the employee strongly feels that the aggressor may attempt to violate the order and contact the employee at Carraway Inc.. Any information received and disclosed will be held by Carraway Inc. with the utmost confidentiality.
If Carraway Inc. is aware that domestic violence is likely to expose an employee or the workplace to harassment, violence, injury, or risk, management will take every reasonable precaution to protect the individual and the workplace.
If any visitor to Carraway Inc. is seen with a weapon, or is known to possess one, or makes a verbal threat or assault against an employee or another individual, witnesses must immediately contact the police.
FRAUDULENT OR MALICIOUS COMPLAINTS
It is important to realize that unfounded or frivolous allegations of violence or harassment may cause both the accused person and the company significant damage.
Making a false complaint or providing false information about a complaint is strictly prohibited and a violation of this policy. If Carraway Inc. determines that any employee has knowingly made a false complaint regarding an allegation of violence, harassment, or discrimination, immediate disciplinary action will be taken, up to and including termination.
If Carraway Inc. determines that an employee has been involved in violence, harassment, or discrimination against another employee, immediate disciplinary action will be taken, up to and including immediate dismissal without notice. Any disciplinary action will be determined by the company and will be proportional to the seriousness of the behaviour or action concerned. Carraway Inc. will also provide appropriate assistance and support to any employee who is a victim of violence, discrimination, or harassment.
All records of violence or harassment and subsequent investigations are considered confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone except to the extent required by law. Carraway Inc. will do everything it can to protect the privacy of the individuals involved and to ensure that complainants and respondents are treated fairly and respectfully.
Carraway Inc. will not disclose the name of a complainant, respondent, or witness or the circumstances related to the complaint to any person except where disclosure is necessary to investigate the complaint, take corrective action, inform the persons involved of the results of the investigation and corrective actions taken, to inform employees of the nature and extent of violence and harassment in the workplace, or required by law. The company will only disclose the minimum amount of personal information or details necessary for these purposes.
In cases where criminal proceedings are forthcoming, Carraway Inc. will assist police agencies, lawyers, insurance companies, and courts to the fullest extent.
In accordance with the federal legislation, all employees, managers, and supervisors will receive the following information, instruction, and training:
The nature and extent of workplace violence and harassment and how employees may be exposed to it;
The communication system established to inform employees about workplace violence and harassment;
Information on what constitutes workplace violence and harassment and on the means of identifying the factors that contribute to these behaviours;
The violence and harassment prevention measures that have been developed; and
The employer’s procedures for reporting on risks and incidents of workplace violence and harassment.
REVIEW AND REVISION
Carraway Inc. will review and update this policy every three years, or as necessary, and will review and update information, instruction, and training provided to all employees in any of the following circumstances:
When there is a change in respect of the risk of workplace violence or harassment;
Upon legislative changes; or
When new information on the risk of workplace violence or harassment becomes available.