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01-04 Workplace Harassment
Purpose To define workplace harassment and specify guidelines and procedures
for investigating harassment complaints.
Scope All employees at the workplace or at any time while wearing a company
Overview Workplace harassment will not be tolerated. Air Canada will make every
reasonable effort to ensure that no employee is harassed and will remedy
any harassment that does occur, despite those efforts.
Complaints of a poisoned work environment or workplace conflict that do
not involve harassment will also be handled according to the procedures
set out below.
Any employee who violates this policy will be subject to discipline, up to
and including dismissal.
Confidentiality All parties to a harassment complaint - complainant, respondent,
witnesses, investigators and managers - are responsible for maintaining
confidentiality. All information related to complaints is kept confidentially in
the Harassment Office.
The company endeavours to maintain confidentiality throughout the
investigation procedure; however, no guarantee can be given to any party
involved in the complaint that their names and the information they
provide during the investigation won't be revealed. The company may
need to disclose information to investigate the complaint, and in cases
such as arbitrations, court proceedings, or safety and security concerns.
Managers involved in a complaint are reminded to keep all information
confidential, except in the above cases.
Unless harassment is substantiated, no information about the complaint
will appear on the employee file of either the respondent or the
complainant. No complaint-related information is placed on the employee
file of any witness.
Workplace harassment Discriminatory acts that adversely affect specific employees or groups of
employees based on the prohibited grounds as defined in the Canadian
Human Rights Act, or
Acts or behaviours that create an intimidating, threatening, coercive or
hostile work environment, so that one or all of the following occurs:
The work performance of one or more employees is impaired.
The employment relationship is adversely affected.
The dignity or respect of one or more employees is denied.
The prohibited grounds include the following:
National or ethnic origin
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Conviction for which a pardon has been granted
Sexual harassment Sexual harassment is defined by the Canada Labour Code as any
conduct, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature likely to cause
offence or humiliation to any employee, or that might, on reasonable
grounds, be perceived by that employee as placing a condition of a
sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or
Examples of behaviour that could constitute sexual harassment include
Questions and discussions about a person's sexual activity.
Sexual innuendo (even in the guise of humour).
Leering (suggestive staring) or other offensive gestures.
Touching a person in a sexual way.
Commenting on someone's sexual attractiveness or sexual
Persisting in asking for a date after having been refused.
Writing sexually suggestive letters or notes.
Circulation or display, including by electronic means, of sexual
material. This includes screen-savers on computers.
Workplace conflict A conflict not involving harassment, between two or more employees.
Poisoned work An environment where the inappropriate actions or behaviour of one or
environment more employees, whether or not constituting harassment, affect a work
group or department.
Workplace Any company or work-related premises, facility, aircraft or property. This
may include but is not limited to airports, offices, crew hotels, off-site
conferences and meetings, shop floor, rest rooms, cafeterias, staff
lunchrooms, computers, lockers, vehicles and parking lots.
Workplace also includes any personal belongings, such as tool boxes,
used on company premises.
Fact-finding An investigation conducted to obtain and report facts. Hearsay evidence
investigation and third party information are not included in the report. Opinions, either
of the investigator or of other parties involved in the investigation, are not
part of a fact-finding report.
Complainant Employee initiating a harassment complaint.
Respondent Employee who is the alleged harasser.
Vindictive complaint A complaint filed in bad faith for the purpose of revenge or to cause harm
or pain to another employee.
Frivolous complaint A complaint that lacks seriousness or merit.
Time limit for initiating a All harassment complaints should be filed promptly after the alleged
complaint incident or series of incidents.
Prompt filing of complaints is in the interest of all parties because it
facilitates the investigation, which means a faster resolution of the
problem. A delay in filing a complaint makes investigations more difficult
because memories may fade, potential witnesses may leave, and any
documentary evidence may be lost.
Informal complaints Before submitting formal harassment complaints, employees who believe
that they have complaints of harassment are encouraged to do the
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Make their objections known to the alleged harasser(s).
Attempt to resolve the matter.
Contact their manager if the above steps don't correct the situation,
or if the employee feels intimidated.
During the informal complaint process the manager consults with the
complainant to determine the nature of the complaint and how the
complainant wishes to deal with the situation. The manager also consults
with the harassment office to determine whether any previous harassment
complaints have been filed involving the parties concerned.
If employees or managers require support, the Harassment Office may be
contacted as a resource.
Formal complaints If the situation can't be resolved at the informal level, and the complaint
falls under the jurisdiction of the Harassment Policy, the employee
completes a formal complaint form and submits it to the Harassment
Office. The formal procedure in this policy is followed.
Appeal hearings Appeal hearings may be granted if the following criteria are present:
Additional relevant information regarding the original matter.
Proof that the policy was applied incorrectly or that the
investigation was flawed.
Harassment When harassment is found, the harasser may be:
Referred to EAP for counseling.
Referred to appropriate developmental courses.
Subject to discipline up to and including dismissal.
If changes in the workplace are necessary, the harasser is subjected to
the changes. For example, if harassment results in the transfer of an
employee, the harasser will be the one transferred, except when the
complainant requests the transfer.
Retaliation Retaliation in any form against any party involved in the complaint is
unacceptable and the employee will be subject to disciplinary action up to
and including dismissal.
Vindictive complaints If an investigation determines that a harassment complaint is vindictive,
the complainant or the appropriate parties will be subject to disciplinary
action up to and including dismissal.
Frivolous complaints If an investigation determines that a harassment complaint is frivolous,
the complaint will be dismissed.
Employee Maintains a manner in the workplace that respects all employees'
human rights, thus promoting a harassment-free workplace as
defined in this policy.
Complies with the terms of this policy.
Makes, if possible, his or her disapproval and specific objections
known to the employee whose behaviour is in question.
Keeps a written record of dates and times of unacceptable
behaviour and the names of witnesses to the incidents.
Reports incidents of harassment to his or her manager and/or the
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Manager Ensures the workplace is free from harassment as defined in this
Ensures employees are informed of the harassment policy.
Applies the application of the harassment policy consistently.
Begins a course of action to stop harassment as soon as he or she
becomes aware of, hears, or observes harassment whether or not
a complaint has been filed.
Responds quickly to employee complaints.
Oversees, where possible, informal complaints through to
Begins a course of action to remedy and prevent recurrence.
Implements corrective action when necessary.
Procedure for Informal Harassment Complaints
Employee 1. Makes his or her objection known to the alleged harasser.
2. Attempts to resolve the matter.
3. Contacts his or her manager or the Harassment office if the situation
can't be corrected at the lowest level, or if the employee feels
Manager 4. Consults with the harassment office to determine whether any
previous harassment complaints have been filed involving the parties
5. Conducts a fact-finding investigation.
6. Completes Information Form-Informal Harassment Complaint,
including resolution reached and/or action taken and emails a copy to
the Harassment Office for tracking purposes.
Employee or Manager 7. Contacts the Harassment Office if they require support.
Procedure for Formal Harassment Complaints
The following procedures may vary according to individual situations:
Employee 1. Completes a Harassment Complaint Form and a written description
of the details of the complaint.
2. Submits the complaint to the Harassment Office.
Harassment Office 3. Acknowledges receipt of the complaint in writing to the complainant:
a) Advising the complainant of his or her right to representation.
b) Informing the complainant that investigators will be in contact to
arrange a meeting.
4. Provides written notification of the complaint to the respondent:
a) Advising the respondent of the allegations.
b) Informing the respondent of his or her right to representation.
c) Informing the respondent that investigators will be in contact to
arrange a meeting.
5. Advises applicable manager(s) that a complaint has been filed.
6. Appoints two investigators to investigate the complaint.
Investigators 7. Review the complaint and allegations.
8. Conduct interviews with the complainant, respondent, and any
9. Submit where practical within 30 calendar days or less of the filing of
the complaint a written fact-finding report to the harassment office.
Harassment Office 10. Reviews report.
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11. Forwards outcome letter and summary of fact-finding report to the
complainant and respondent.
12. Forwards fact-finding report and recommendations to manager.
Manager 13. Reviews report and recommendations provided by the Harassment
14. Contacts Harassment Office and/or Labour Relations for guidance or
advice, if necessary.
15. Decides and implements appropriate remedy.
Harassment Office 16. Follows up with management to ensure resolution has been reached.
Procedure for Formal Harassment Complaint Appeal Process
Employee 1. Forwards a written appeal of the decision within 14 calendar days of
receiving the decision, providing detailed reasons for the request, to
the Senior Director, Human Resources.
2. Files a grievance, if discipline is involved, according to the terms of
the applicable collective agreement (where an employee is a member
of a union).
Senior Director, Human 3. Sends a letter to the employee acknowledging the receipt of appeal.
Resources 4. Notifies the employee whether or not an appeal hearing will be held.
5. Arranges a hearing date and time with the employee, if an appeal
hearing is being conducted.
6. Notifies the employee of the decision reached within 14 calendar
days following the conclusion of the hearing.
This process does not preclude the employee's right to file a complaint with the Canadian
Human Rights Commission in accordance with the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Effective Date: Last Revision Sponsor: Who to call for more information:
January 1, 1986 July 12, 2005 People Branch Mardelle Rowell
Human Rights Advisor
(604) 276 3392
fax (604) 270-5143