Respect In The Workplace Policy
Policy No: 01/15
Date Approved: January 23, 2002
Dates Amended: May 26, 2010, June 22, 2016
Reporting Requirements: Annual Reporting
Legislative Authority: Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O 1990, c O.1; Ontario Human Rights Code
The Regional Municipality of York Police Services Board (“the Board”) is committed to enhancing employee wellness by providing a safe and healthy work environment for its members, Board staff and for York Regional Police (“YRP”).
The Board recognizes that its members, its staff and members of the York Regional Police have the right to work in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence and will not condone any form of discrimination, harassment or violence.
The Chief of Police shall comply with these requirements in directing the York Regional Police.
Every employee is entitled to work in an environment that is free from any form of discrimination or harassment. The Board provides guidelines to the Chief of Police in establishing procedures related to the prevention of and response to discriminatory and/or harassing behaviour and/or violence in the workplace.
This Policy applies to Board members, Board staff, the Chief of Police and all members of York Regional Police.
3.1 Discrimination is a practice or behaviour which has a negative effect on an individual or group because of personal characteristics or circumstances unrelated to the person’s abilities. Direct or indirect discrimination may be a result of differential treatment which will have an adverse effect on an individual or group.
3.2 Workplace harassment as defined in the OHSA means
a) 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;
b) workplace sexual harassment. Workplace harassment may be an action or behaviour related to prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Harassment may assume many forms including sexual harassment and involve a single incident or series of incidents. It may also exist systemically as part of the work environment. It may be directed at one individual or at a group. Workplace harassment also includes conduct, comments or activities which are of a personal or emotional nature and not based on the prohibited grounds set out in the Code. Examples include but are not limited to:
i. persistent verbal abuse
ii. inappropriate jokes
iv. derogatory or dismissive comments
v. displaying offensive material
vi. gestures that are insulting or belittling
viii. conduct that shuns or excludes the member
ix. persistently disrupting an individual’s work, workplace or equipment
x. interfering with a member’s personal property or invading their privacy
xi. abuse of authority wherein a person with authority over the member improperly uses that power to interfere with the member’s performance to threaten or negatively influence the member’s career or job assignment
xii. any other conduct or behaviour that created intimidating, offensive or hostile work environment.
A reasonable action taken by an employer or supervisor related to the management and direction of workers or the workplace is not workplace harassment.
3.3 Workplace sexual harassment as defined in the OHSA means
a) 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;
b) 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.
3.4 Workplace violence as defined in OHSA means:
a)the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker in a workplace that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker;
b) an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker and;
c) a statement or behaviour that it 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.
3.5 Workplace means any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in or near which a worker works. It includes any and all locations where business and social activities of YRP or the Board are conducted including external training facilities, any location of business travel and work-related social and/or business gatherings.
3.6 Employee or worker means a member of the York Regional Police.
4. Board Policy Guidelines
4.1 The Board will not ignore, tolerate, or condone workplace harassment, workplace sexual harassment, discrimination and/or workplace violence.
4.2 The Board is committed to strategies that promote respect in the workplace and which include the development of policies and procedures, effective communication, ongoing training and education, complaint resolution and disciplinary measures where required.
5. Workplace Harassment Program
5.1 The Chief of Police shall, in consultation with the committee or a health and safety representative, if any, develop and maintain a written program to implement the workplace harassment policy as prescribed by the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.
5.2 The program shall include, but is not limited to the following:
5.3 The Chief of Police shall ensure that the processes or practices are posted in a conspicuous place in the workplace.
a) measures and procedures for members to report incidents of workplace harassment to the employer or supervisor;
b) measures and procedures for members to report incidents of workplace harassment to a person other than the employer or supervisor, if the employer or supervisor is the alleged harasser;
c) sets out how incidents or complaints of workplace harassment will be investigated and dealt with;
d) sets out how information obtained about an incident or complaint about workplace harassment including identifying information about individuals involved will not be disclosed unless the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of investigating or taking corrective action with respect to the incident or complaint or is otherwise required by law;
e) sets out how a member who has allegedly experienced workplace harassment and the alleged harasser, if he or she is a worker of the employer, will be informed of the results of the investigation and of any corrective action taken or that will be taken as a result of the investigation; and
f) any prescribed elements.
6. Protection and Prevention
6.1 The Board shall take all reasonable steps to protect Board members and Board staff from workplace harassment, violence and discrimination and shall respond to all incidents of workplace harassment, violence and discrimination as prescribed by law.
6.2 Chief of Police shall take all reasonable steps to protect all members of York Regional Police from workplace harassment, workplace violence and discrimination and shall respond to all incidents of workplace harassment, violence and discrimination as prescribed by law.
6.3 The Chief of Police shall develop and implement processes for preventing and responding to workplace harassment, violence and discrimination in the workplace and shall review the processes at least annually. The programs and processes shall also include reasonable steps to protect against reprisals for any member who makes a complaint or who is involved in a complaint.
6.4 The Chief of Police shall ensure that the processes or practices are posted in a conspicuous place in the workplace.
6.5 The Chief of Police shall ensure that the processes address the circumstances under which a member may refuse to work when the workplace violence is likely to endanger himself or herself. The processes must address the occupational requirements of a police officer in relation to any work refusal.
6.6 The Chief of Police shall ensure that the right to refuse work is subject to section 43(1) and 43(2)(a) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act which stipulates that anyone employed in a police service cannot assert the right to refuse work when the particular job or task is inherent in the employee’s work; is a normal condition of the member’s employment or when a refusal to work would directly endanger the life, health or safety of another person.
6.7 The Chief of Police shall ensure that the safety of all members is addressed during the course of an investigation into workplace violence.
6.8 The Chief of Police shall ensure that no offensive or derogatory material is displayed in the workplace.
6.9 The Chief of Police shall provide information and instruction that is appropriate for the member on the contents of the policies, procedures and programs on workplace harassment, discrimination and workplace violence and any other prescribed information.
6.10 The Chief of Police shall establish procedures on employment accommodation in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Police Services Act. The accommodation of members shall be carried out in a manner which respects the dignity of the person and does not create undue hardship for the Service.
6.11 The Chief of Police shall ensure that all members receive information and training on race relations, diversity and all applicable aspects of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
6.12 The Chief of Police shall ensure that
a) an investigation is conducted into incidents and complaints of workplace harassment that is appropriate in the circumstances.
b) the member who has allegedly experienced workplace harassment and the alleged harasser, if he or she is a YRP member, are informed in writing of the results of the investigation and of the corrective action that has been taken or that will be taken as a result of the investigation;
c) the program developed is reviewed as often as necessary, but at least annually, to ensure it adequately implemented the Board’s policy with respect to workplace harassment required under the OHSA; and
d.) such other duties as may be prescribed are carried out.
7. Workplace Violence Prevention Program
7.1 The Chief of Police shall prepare procedures with respect to workplace violence and develop and maintain a program to implement the policy, in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act
7.2 The workplace violence program shall include but is not limited to the following:
a) measures and procedures to control the risks identified in the workplace risk assessment as likely to expose a member to physical injury
b) measures and procedures for summoning immediate assistance when workplace violence occurs or is likely to occur
c) measures and procedures for members to report incidents or complaints of workplace violence to the employer or person in authority
d) set out how the employer will investigate and deal with incidents or complaints of workplace violence; and
e) include any prescribed elements.
8. Assessment of Risks of Violence
8.1 The Chief of Police shall ensure that a workplace violence risk assessment is undertaken and shall consider the risks of workplace violence that may arise from the nature of the workplace, the type of work or the conditions of work.
8.2 The assessment shall take into account the following considerations
a) circumstances that would be common to similar workplaces
b) circumstances specific to the workplace
c) any other prescribed elements.
8.3 The Chief of Police shall ensure the results of the workplace violence risk assessment are provided to the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee.
8.4 The Chief of Police shall reassess the risks of workplace violence as often as is necessary to ensure that the related policy and program continue to protect workers from workplace violence.
9. Domestic Violence
9.1 The Chief of Police shall ensure that measures are in place to address the risk of domestic violence in the workplace.
9.2 The Chief of Police shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a member if a person in authority becomes aware or ought reasonably to be aware of domestic violence that would likely expose a worker to physical injury that may occur in the workplace.
10. Duty to Disclose Personal Information
10.1 The Chief of Police shall ensure that a member receives information, including personal information, related to a risk of workplace violence from a person with a history of violent behaviour if the member can be expected to encounter that person in the course of his or her work; and the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose the member to physical injury.
10.2 If the circumstances require disclosure of personal information, the Chief of Police shall ensure that no person in authority discloses more personal information that is reasonably necessary to protect the member from physical injury.
10.3 Any disclosure of personal information shall be in compliance with the provisions of the Police Services Act and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
11. Reporting Requirements
11.1 On an annual basis, the Chief of Police shall report to the Board on YRP’s review of the processes for preventing and responding to workplace harassment (including workplace sexual harassment), violence and discrimination in the workplace.
Original Signed on June 22, 2016.
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