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The FFPL Board is dedicated to providing a work environment where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect. The FFPL Board recognizes the dignity and worth of every person and is committed to providing a workplace free from discrimination and harassment and ensuring that any complaint is resolved quickly and with fairness and confidentiality.
Managers, FFPL Board members, volunteers and FFPLTC Staff are expected to uphold this policy. Workplace discrimination or harassment will not be tolerated from any person in the FFPLTC including co-workers, members of the FFPL Board, volunteers, clients and family members.
The workplace is not restricted to the offices, buildings, facilities and physical work sites of the FFPLTC. It also includes vehicles and any other locations where FFPLTC business is conducted. Any allegation of discrimination or harassment that occurs outside of the workplace but has repercussions in the workplace by adversely affecting relationships is also covered by this policy.
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The FFPLTC adheres to the Ontario Human Rights Code with respect to rights of freedom from discrimination in employment:
“Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment 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”.
Human Rights Code s. 5.1
- Discrimination may include abuse of authority or position of power as follows:
- to endanger a FFPLTC Staff member’s job
- to undermine the performance of that job
- to threaten the economic livelihood of a FFPLTC Staff member
- to interfere with or negatively influence the career of a FFPLTC Staff member in any way
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- The FFPL Board recognizes the definition of harassment as set out in the Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, both of which define harassment as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.
- The FFPL Board recognizes the definition of sexual harassment as outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act as engaging in a course of vexatious comment of 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.
- Prohibited harassment in the FFPLTC workplace includes grounds under the Human Rights Code (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).
- The Occupational Health and Safety Act does not prescribe the nature of harassment however, prohibited harassment in the FFPLTC workplace includes that which is personal in nature and not necessarily based on identification with a recognized group.
- Harassment may include:
- making remarks, joke or innuendos that demean, ridicule, intimidate, or offend
- displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials in print or electronic form
- repeated offensive or intimidating phone calls, e-mails, text messaging, or posting on social media sites
- suggestive or other offensive pictures or material
- inappropriate sexual advances, suggestions or requests
- Uninvited sexual touching will be considered assault and reported to police.
- The exercise of supervisory responsibilities, including training, performance appraisal, direction, instruction, counselling and discipline does not constitute harassment as long as these are not being exercised in a harassing or intimidating manner.
- Not agreeing to a change in FFPLTC policy, practice, or procedure is not personal harassment.
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- The CEO must develop and maintain a Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Program.
- The program will set out:
The Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Program will include procedures for reporting incidents of workplace discrimination and harassment.
Any staff member of volunteer who believes they have been subject to discrimination or harassment is strongly encouraged by the FFPL Board to bring their complaint forward using the reporting procedures outlined within the program. No staff member shall be penalized for bringing forward a complaint or for participating within an investigation.
The Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Program will include procedures for dealing with and investigating complaints.
All concerns brought forward using this procedure shall be investigated and resolved promptly.
The Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Program will include various supports that are available to all FFPLTC Staff.
- This policy will be:
- reviewed by the FFPL Board annually
- posted on the Health and Safety board along with the Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Program
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- Should it be found that any patron has harassed a staff member that person may be issued a no trespassing notice.
- Should a staff member be found to have harassed a co-worker, they will be subject to disciplinary action which may include termination of employment.
Awareness about Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Program
The FFPLTC's Human Rights Policy, which addresses both workplace discrimination and harassment, in addition to being included in the FFPLTC’s policy binder will be posted on the Health and Safety board along with the Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Program.
Reporting Incidents of Workplace Discrimination and Harassment
The FFPLTC encourages any FFPLTC Staff member or volunteer who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination or harassment to discuss the situation with the CEO.
In the event that there is a complaint against the CEO or a conflict of interest, a complaint shall be filed with the FFPL Board Chair. The FFPL Board may conduct an investigation or designate an individual to investigate and issue a report.
The FFPLTC Staff member with a complaint must provide written notes about the events leading up to the complaint which include:
- What happened: a description of the events or situation
- When it happened: dates and times
- Where it happened
- Who saw the incident, if anyone
As well, any related documents or materials having to do with the complaint are to be made available. At the discretion of the CEO, an investigation may take place.
Complaint Resolution Procedures
If a FFPLTC Staff member chooses to pursue the Complaint Resolution Procedure, the CEO will advise the person against whom the complaint has been lodged.
The CEO begins a confidential investigation immediately and finishes within 30 days. Throughout the process, the investigator keeps all parties informed, interviews the FFPLTC Staff concerned and witnesses, collects evidence, prepares a report and informs the parties in writing of the decision and the underlying reasons.
The CEO is responsible for imposing any disciplinary or corrective measures.
Any FFPLTC Staff member may file a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission when the harassment or discrimination is related to one or more of the Human Rights Code’s prohibited grounds - race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed (religion), sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family status, receipt of public assistance, record of offences.