Discrimination and Harassment

The Vancouver Island Regional Library, in its efforts to provide a positive, comfortable and professional environment, will not tolerate any form of harassment or abuse directed by, or at, any library employee, by another employee, Board member, or member of the public. The Board believes in a positive environment for customers and employees, and is committed to preventing acts of abuse, harassment or discrimination.

The British Columbia Human Rights Code protects individuals from discrimination or harassment because of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, age, or because the person has been convicted of a criminal or summary conviction offense that is unrelated to the employment or intended employment. The Code protects people against acts of discrimination and harassment which occur at or away from the workplace, during or outside normal working hours, provided such acts are committed within the course of employment.

Harassment includes:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances or requests;
  • Unwelcome touching or physical contact;
  • Staring at or making unwelcome comments about someone’s physical appearance.

 Reporting

If anyone believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination or harassment in the workplace, or in connection with work related activities outside the workplace, that person should report the details of the incident in writing to their supervisor or the Executive Director, depending upon whomever they feel most comfortable.

All complaints will be handled in a confidential and timely manner. Investigation of a complaint will normally include conferring with the parties involved, and any named or apparent witnesses. All persons involved shall be protected from coercion, intimidation, retaliation, interference or discrimination for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation.

Investigation Process

This policy is designed to ensure that complaints of discrimination and harassment are dealt with quickly and will comply with current collective agreement language.

  1. A written statement with a specific and clear description of the words or actions, and signed by the complainant, will initiate the process.
  2. Investigation team members may include, but not be restricted to, the Executive Director, immediate supervisor, Director of Human Resources, a union representative, and others as deemed appropriate.
  3. Interviews will be conducted with the complainant and the alleged offender, and any other employees who may be able to provide additional information.
  4. If the investigation reveals evidence to support the complaint of harassment, abuse, or discrimination, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
  5. If the investigation reveals no evidence to support the complaint no documentation shall be placed in the accused employee’s personnel file.
  6. The Employee Assistance Program shall be made available to the complainant or accused, where appropriate.

 Violation

If the investigation reveals that the complaint is valid, prompt attention and disciplinary action designed to stop the harassment immediately, and to prevent its reoccurrence, will be taken.

Violation of this policy is a form of misconduct, and is grounds for disciplinary action appropriate to the level of proven misconduct, up to and including termination of employment.

  

Revised: November 2010

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(877) 415.VIRL