GP29 - Equity, Diversity and Anti-Harassment Policy
|Policy Number:||GP 29||Effective Date:||April 2021|
|Last Review Date:||November 2020||Next Review Date:||November 2023|
|Review Frequency:||Every three years 2023||Related Supporting Documents:|
This policy applies to all College Council and Committee members, staff, including full-time, part-time, and temporary employees, and any individuals acting on behalf of the College, including volunteers. It guides the expectations of values held by consultants, contractors, as well as other stakeholders in the communities served by the College.
the College recognizes the dignity and worth of every person and seeks to provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination that is contrary to law, and has 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 College and its work, and is able to contribute to fulfilling the vision, mission and mandate of the College.
Application of this Policy
Every person has a right to equal treatment without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.
Every College employee and volunteer has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment or volunteer activities without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.
Every employee has a right to freedom from harassment in the workplace by the College or any agent of the College’s or by another employee because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.
- That the College Council will demonstrate leadership regarding equity, diversity, and freedom from harassment including review of its own processes and training programs and seeking new ways for the College to strive to be responsible and answerable
to its members, staff and stakeholders on these matters.
- That the College delivers ongoing information, training and resource support to help all staff, volunteers, Council and committee members develop capacity to address equity, diversity and harassment issues and understand their rights and responsibilities.
That such training be a fundamental part of orientation for new Council and committee members, volunteers and staff.
- That the College provides guidance to Council and committee members, staff and volunteers about their roles in implementing this policy. That the College develops ways to support Council, committees and staff in incorporating specific, measurable
equity, diversity and harassment provisions into their annual work and human resources plans.
- That plans for outreach to prospective registrants be analyzed for sensitivity to the diversity of Alberta’s culture. That such activities be reported on in annual program reviews.
- That the College actively solicits viewpoints from diverse groups within the College and in the communities it serves and seeks to serve.
- That the College’s activities in recruitment and retention of staff and volunteers have a focus on achieving equity and increasing diversity within the College.
- That the College seeks to identify and work to remove barriers that limit access to its services and programs in areas such as information dissemination, human resources, physical space, and cultural difference.
- That the College recognizes that everyone deserves to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity, and that the College is committed to eliminating systemic racism and advancing racial equity.
For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
Equity is the result of a comprehensive pro-active strategy designed to ensure that all members of society have fair and equal access to opportunities. Equity initiatives may include removing or neutralizing barriers that might limit the participation of individual stakeholders in the College processes, procedures or activities.
Racial equity refers to the systemic fair treatment of all people resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for everyone. It contrasts with formal equality where people are treated the same without regard for racial differences. Racial equity is a process (such as meaningfully engaging with Indigenous, Black and other racialized employees and/or members regarding policies, directives, practices and procedures that affect them) and an outcome (such as equitable representation of Indigenous, Black and other racialized employees at all levels of the organization).
Diversity refers to characteristics that makes people different from each other. These differences include race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability. Where this policy applies to employees of the College, the additional difference of record of offences is included.
“age” means an age that is 18 years or more;
- any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,
- a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
- a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language, or
- a mental disorder.
“equal” means subject to all requirements, qualifications and considerations that are not a prohibited ground of discrimination;
“family status” means the status of being in a parent and child relationship;
“harassment” means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome;
“marital status” means the status of being married, single, widowed, divorced or separated and includes the status of living with a person in a conjugal relationship outside marriage;
“record of offences” means a conviction for, an offence in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada) and has not been revoked;
“services” does not include a levy, fee, tax or periodic payment imposed by law;
“spouse” means the person to whom a person is married or with whom the person is living in a conjugal relationship outside marriage (“conjoint”)
GUIDELINES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY
the College is a progressive organization that is reflective of and responsive to the needs of the diverse community it serves. The Equity, Diversity and Anti-Harassment Policy is an example of best practice in organizational leadership as it embraces the values of mutual respect and dignity for all persons. These Guidelines for Implementation of the Equity, Diversity and Anti-Harassment Policy will assist the College in creating a culture of shared values and behaviours consistent with the mission and core values of the association.
This culture will be characterized by:
- Respect for the diversity of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability is taken into account in practices and policies with relation to governance, volunteer service and employment.
- Open, responsive and respectful communication with all staff, volunteers, members, applicants, and other stakeholders served by the College.
- Collaboration and partnership with the community in interactions regarding issues of equity and diversity, as well as with staff, members, and other stakeholders.
- Consideration of equity and diversity in all the College’s operations as measured through research, monitoring of training and development, cultural interpretation and community partnerships, and
- Freedom from harassment in the workplace.
It is expected that the policy will be integrated into the workings of the College through our adoption of orientation and education programs for Councillors, committee members and staff. Monitoring and evaluation of compliance will take this into account.
Complaint and Redress
Where an individual perceives a contravention of the Equity, Diversity and Anti-Harassment Policy, the following mechanisms can be used. However, wherever possible, an informal resolution to complaints is the preferred approach.
An individual knowledgeable about complaint resolution in the Human Resources Department of the College will be designated as the contact point for the College members who wish to bring a complaint based on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
- Individuals who have been subjected to inappropriate behaviour that may constitute discrimination or harassment are encouraged to first clearly and firmly make the offender aware that their behaviour is unwelcome, objectionable and must stop. the
College recognizes that this is not always possible or appropriate, depending on the circumstances. Such informal resolution is not required as a precursor to a formal complaint.
Note: It is not necessary for an employee or volunteer who has been subjected to inappropriate behaviour that may constitute harassment or discrimination to first seek to tell the offender that the behaviour is unwelcome and must stop. In some circumstances, it may even be inappropriate or unsafe to do so. It is not required for the employee or volunteer to ask the offender to stop the offensive behaviour before the employer will take steps to address it.
- If the matter is not resolved informally, the individual may make a formal complaint.
- Employee complaints must be submitted in writing to the Director of Human Resources. If that individual is the subject of the complaint or is not available, the complaint should be directed to CEO & Registrar.
- Volunteer complaints must be submitted in writing to the Council Chair. If that individual is the subject of the complaint or is not available, the complaint should be directed to CEO & Registrar.
- The complaint should include as much detail as possible including dates, times, witnesses (if any), a detailed description of the events and nature of the behaviour, acts or conduct complained of, and your attempts (if any, and if not then why not) to deal with the situation directly.
- In the case of an employee, the Director of Human Resources will review and consider the complaint to determine if further investigation is required. The review may include interviewing the complainant, the respondent, and witnesses to the incident or circumstances that led to the complaint.
- In the case of a volunteer, the Council Chair will review and consider the complaint to determine if further investigation is required. The review may include interviewing the complainant, the respondent, and witnesses to the incident or circumstances that led to the complaint.
- The findings of the review and recommendations for further action, if any, must be communicated in writing to the complainant and respondent within 10 working days of receipt of the complaint.
- If an investigation is recommended, the Director of Human Resources (in the case of an employee) or the Council Chair (in the case of a volunteer) must:
- Advise the respondent, in writing, of the nature and specifics of the complaint, of their rights to representation and of the investigation;
- Advise the complainant of the investigation; and
- Assign the investigation to an investigator.
Note: The investigator can be either internal or external. In either case, the investigator should be someone with training in conducting investigations. An external investigator is strongly recommended in situations where the allegations are serious, where the allegations relate to systemic discrimination or harassment, or where there is no one with investigation training that is sufficiently senior in comparison to the respondent to be perceived as having the authority and influence for the investigation to be effective.
- The investigator will make a written report with the findings of the investigation to the Director of Human Resources or Council Chair within 30 working days. Extensions may be granted in appropriate circumstances.
- The Director of Human Resources or in the case of a volunteer, the Council Chair must review the report and determine a plan of action within 15 working days of receiving the investigator’s report.
- The Director of Human Resources or in the case of a volunteer, the Council Chair must advise the complainant and the respondent, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation. Summaries of the investigation process and conclusions may be provided to the complainant and the respondent.
- Where discrimination or harassment has been substantiated, corrective and disciplinary action will be taken up to and including termination of employment for just cause, depending on the circumstances. Specific details of the corrective action or discipline may not be shared with the complainant or others in order to respect privacy and confidentiality.
- If it is determined that an employee or volunteer has made a false complaint knowingly or in a malicious manner, they will be subject to corrective action or discipline up to and including termination of employment for just cause.
- In order to comply with statutory obligations to prevent and investigate discrimination or harassment, the Director of Human Resources or in the case of a volunteer, the Chair of Council must follow the above procedure even when:
- a complaint has been made anonymously or by someone who asks to remain anonymous; or
- there is no specific complaint, but
- there is a pattern of inquiries or concerns raised over time which suggest the existence of a specific problem not already addressed, or
- there is reason to believe that a systemic problem exists in the workplace.
Any complaint brought or investigation conducted under this policy will be treated confidentially to the greatest extent possible. The identity of the complainant, respondent or witnesses, or the circumstances of the complaint, may be disclosed where disclosure is necessary for the purposes of resolving the complaint or taking disciplinary action in relation to the complaint, or to inform the employees of a specific or general threat of violence, or as authorized or required by law.
Any unauthorized disclosure of confidential information relating to a complaint may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment for just cause.
All records of a complaint must be kept separate from the respondent’s personnel file except where the complaint is determined to be substantiated.
Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment for just cause.