Chicopee is committed to building and preserving a safe, productive, and healthy working environment for its employees, free from violence, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, domestic or violence. Also, Chicopee is committed to providing equal treatment with respect to employment according to the protected grounds established under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The company will take all reasonable measures to ensure all employees, volunteers, job candidates and clients are not subject to any form of violence, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, domestic violence or discrimination. This commitment applies to all areas of business, including training, performance, assessment, promotions, transfers, layoffs, remuneration, and all other employment practices and working conditions. Acts of violence, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, domestic violence or discrimination against or by any employee will not be condoned or tolerated by the company. This policy outlines the Chicopee violence, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, domestic violence and discrimination program, including how incidents will be handled and investigated.
This policy is not intended to constrain acceptable social interactions between people in the company. Our procedures have been developed to reduce the risk of workplace violence, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, domestic violence, discrimination and unacceptable behaviour in the workplace.
We provide training to all employees to minimize and prevent workplace violence, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, domestic violence, discrimination and unacceptable behavior in the workplace and to foster the safety and security of Chicopee employees, customers, and visitors to our premises. The policy applies to all professional dealings within the context of our work environment.
This policy is not intended to limit or constrain the reasonable action or conduct by the company relating to the normal work functions of an employee, such as changes in work assignments, scheduling, job assessment and evaluation, implementation of policies or procedures, and disciplinary action.
Chicopee pledges to investigate and deal with all concerns, complaints, or incidents of workplace violence, harassment or discrimination in a fair and proficient manner while respecting the privacy of all concerned as much as possible.
Every employee is required to act in good faith and must work in compliance with this policy and the supporting program, free from fear of reprisal. All employees are encouraged to raise any concerns and to report any incidents or threats they may be subject to and/or witness. Our pro-active approach enhances the Health and Safety of all persons at Chicopee.
Complainant: A person who has made a complaint about another individual who they believe committed an act of violence or harassment against them.
Respondent: A person whom another individual has accused of committing an act of violence or harassment.
Workplace harassment: Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or workplace sexual harassment.
Workplace sexual harassment: Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant, or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.
Workplace violence: The exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker; an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker; or a statement or behaviour that is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.
Discrimination: any form of unequal treatment based on a Code ground, whether imposing extra burdens or denying benefits. It may be intentional or unintentional. It may involve direct actions that are discriminatory on their face, or it may involve rules, practices or procedures that appear neutral, but have the effect of disadvantaging certain groups of people. Discrimination may take obvious forms, or it may occur in very subtle ways. In any case, even if there are many factors affecting a decision or action, if discrimination is one factor, that is a violation of this Policy.
The following is a list of the prohibited grounds of discrimination in Ontario:
Age, Ancestry, Citizenship, Colour, Creed, Disability, Ethnic origin, Family status, Gender expression, Gender identity, Marital status, Place of origin, Race, Record of offences, Sex, and Sexual orientation.
For the purposes of this policy, workplace harassment, violence or discrimination can occur:
- The workplace, or any other place where the business of the company is conducted or where social and/or other functions related to the business of the company occur;
- Activities that are incidental or connected to the business of the company;
- Conduct outside the workplace which is likely to be prejudicial to the business;
The use of the internet and social media sites either during or outside of business hours whether originating from company or personal devices, where such use in any way relates to work, the company, or employees of the company.
Reporting Incidents of Workplace Violence, Harassment and Discrimination
An employee who believes they have been subject to violence, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, domestic violence or discrimination should report it immediately to their supervisor/manager or director and/or submit a complaint to the C.E.O. The complaint should be made as soon as possible following the incident and must include the following information:
- The date and time of the incident;
- The name of any persons involved in the incident;
- The name of any persons who witnessed the incident; and
- A thorough description of what occurred and any physical evidence available.
An employee who believes they have been subject to unacceptable behaviour may also choose to confront the harasser without filing a formal complaint. They can confront the harasser directly or through writing, detailing the unwelcome behaviour and requesting it to stop. If the alleged harasser is the employee’s manager, or in a position of power, the complainant is welcome to file a complaint with the C.E.O.
Once a complaint has been received, Chicopee will complete a thorough investigation. The organization will ensure that, where practicable, the investigation is completed within 90 days of the complaint being filed.
The investigation will include:
- Informing the respondent of the complaint;
- Interviewing the complainant and any persons involved in the incident;
- Identifying and interviewing any witnesses;
- The respondent is invited to reply in writing to the complainant's allegations and the reply will be made known to the complainant before the case proceeds further;
- Chicopee will do its best to protect from unnecessary disclosure the details of the incident being investigated and the identities of the complaining party and that of the alleged respondent;
- During the investigation, the complainant and the respondent will be interviewed along with any possible witnesses. Statements from all parties involved will be taken and a decision will be made;
- If necessary, Chicopee may employ outside assistance or request the use of legal counsel;
- Employees will not be demoted, dismissed, disciplined or denied a promotion, advancement or employment opportunities because they lodged a violence or harassment complaint when they honestly believed in their claims.
All of the information obtained will be used to determine whether an incident of violence, harassment or discrimination occurred. The workplace Joint Health & Safety will not be involved in investigations, and will not be provided with any identifying information of the parties involved.
Results of Investigation
Upon completion of an investigation, Chicopee will provide both the complainant and respondent a written summary 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.
Where Chicopee determines that violence, harassment or discrimination has occurred, control measures will be implemented to eliminate or control the risk of further incidents to a worker as a result of the investigation. These control measures will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the situation investigated. Any control measure enacted will be communicated to the complainant and respondent, as well as any other employees the measure effects.
Any disciplinary action will be determined by the C.E.O. and will be proportional to the seriousness of the behaviour or action involved in the incident. If the company determines that an employee has been involved in an incident of violence, harassment or discrimination towards another employee, immediate disciplinary action will be taken, up to and including termination of employment.
Threats, Reprisals or Retaliations and Bad Faith Complaints
Any employee has the right to make a complaint or enforce his or her rights under this policy without threats, reprisals, or retaliations. The company prohibits threats, reprisals, or retaliations in relation to the policy and such actions will be treated in the same manner as violence, harassment or discrimination.
Any employee who makes a malicious or bad faith complaint is in violation of the policy and may itself become the subject of a complaint under this policy. A malicious or bad faith complaint means that a person has made a complaint under this policy that they knew was untrue. Submitting a complaint in good faith, even where the complaint cannot be proven, is not a violation of this policy.
Chicopee will take every precaution reasonable in the circumstance for the protection of workers when they are aware of, or ought reasonably to be aware that domestic violence may occur in the workplace, and that it would likely expose a worker to physical injury. In this instance, the company will work with the employee affected to determine the seriousness of the situation and help to develop protocols and a safety plan.
The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work
Employees have the right to refuse work if they have a reason to believe that workplace violence is likely to endanger them. Upon refusing to work, the employee must report the circumstance of the refusal to their director/manager. An investigation will be completed following the Work Refusal process under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. If no threat of workplace violence is found to be present after an investigation has taken place, the employee can resume their assigned duties. No reprisals will be taken against any employee who refuses work that they believe is unsafe.
Workplace Risk Assessment
Chicopee will conduct a Workplace Risk Assessment of the work environment to identify any issues related to potential violence or harassment that may impact the operation and will institute measures to control any identified risks to employee safety. This information will be provided to the workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee.
The Workplace Risk Assessment may include review of records and reports i.e. security reports, employee incident reports, employee perception surveys, Health and Safety inspection reports, First Aid records or other related records. Specific areas that may contribute to risk of violence may include: contact with public, exchange of money, working alone or at night etc. Research may also include a review of similar workplaces with respect to their history of violence.
History of Violence Disclosure
Management is required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide information to employees about the risk of workplace violence from a person with a history of violent behaviour if the worker can expect to encounter that person in the course of work, and if the worker may be at risk of physical injury. Chicopee will make every reasonable effect to retain privacy where possible and only reasonably necessary personal information will be disclosed.
Summoning Immediate Assistance
Chicopee believes that it is imperative that all employees feel safe and secure in the work environment at all times. If an employee feels they are at risk of violence or harassment they should immediately summon assistance. This could be in the form of assistance from another employee or supervisor/manager.
An employee should move to the person with the closest radio to call a CODE 1. Radios are located on all supervisors/managers, at the top and bottom of each lift, at the cash stands on the second floor, in the Rental Shop, Retail Store, Guest Services, Patrol Room, and in the Maintenance Shop.
If an employee believes that they are in immediate danger emergency assistance should be contacted via a call to 911.
Chicopee will ensure that appropriate records of complaints and investigations relating to incidents of violence, harassment or discrimination are kept, including:
- A copy of the complaint or details about the incident;
- Any records related to the investigation, including notes;
- A copy of the investigation report (if applicable);
- A summary of the investigation results, including the reports provided to the complainant and respondent;
- A copy of any corrective action taken to address the complaint or incident.
Chicopee will not disclose the name of a complainant or a respondent or the circumstances related to the complaint to any person except where disclosure is necessary to investigate the complaint or take corrective action with respect to the complaint, or required by law. The company will only disclose the minimum amount of personal information or details necessary for these purposes.
All records of violence, harassment or discrimination, and subsequent investigations, are considered confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone except to the extent required by law. The company will do everything reasonably possible to protect the privacy of any individuals involved and to ensure that complainants and respondents are treated fairly and respectfully.