Policies

HARASSMENT
 
Policy No. PO-005
 
1.0  PURPOSE AND SCOPE
This policy confirms the right of all College of the North Atlantic officers, employees, students, guests, vendors and clients to pursue their work, studies and related activities in an environment free from harassment.
 
 The policy applies to all officers, employees, students, guests, vendors and clients of College of the North Atlantic. The policy applies in all College owned or operated property and facilities.
 
2.0 POLICY
It is the policy of the College that all officers, employees, students, guests, vendors and clients of the College of the North Atlantic are free to pursue their duties/studies and related activities in an environment free from harassment.
 
2.1  Definitions
For the purposes of this policy, harassment shall include any of the following:
 
SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual harassment is harassment of a sexual nature including sexual comments, gestures, or physical contact that the individual knows, or ought reasonably to know, to be unwelcome, objectionable or offensive.  Harassment of a sexual nature is unsolicited, one-sided and/or coercive.
 
DISCRIMINATORY HARASSMENT
Discriminatory harassment is based on race, religion, religious creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, political opinion, colour, or ethnic, national or social origin that is directed at, is offensive, undermines performance, and/or threatens an individual’s economic livelihood. This definition does not include discrimination short of harassment where there is a good faith requirement or justification for the behaviour or where the behaviour falls within an exception recognized by the Newfoundland and Labrador Human  Rights Code.
 
PERSONAL HARASSMENT
Personal harassment occurs when an individual uses his/her authority or position to undermine, sabotage or otherwise adversely affect the career or program of another person. It includes repeated, but is not limited to, repeated offensive comments and/or actions which demean and belittle an individual and/or cause personal humiliation. It may also include intimidation, threats, blackmail, coercion and/or the filing of frivolous and/or vexatious claims of wrongdoing. It applies to abuse of authority or position in the distribution of work assignments or training opportunities, the grant of promotional opportunities, the completion of performance evaluations, the provision of references,  and the unjustified favouring of one employee or student to the disadvantage of another.
 
  1. Retaliation and Frivolous Claims Prohibited
    Reprisals, retaliation or threats of reprisals against anyone pursuing his or her rights under this policy for having participated or cooperated in an investigation for having been associated with someone who has pursued rights or participated in the procedures, or for having in any other role or capacity under this policy, are prohibited. False, frivolous or vexatious claims of harassment are similarly prohibited.
2.3  Confidentiality
Information collected pursuant to a harassment complaint is deemed confidential information and as such it shall not be:
  1. Used for personal gain or advantage;
  2. Disclosed to any person(s) who is not a party to the complaint; or
  3. Caused to be so used or disclosed.
 
Persons who participate in the investigation of complaints can expect that any information provided by them will be communicated to all those who are a party to the complaint and/or as required by law.
 
All parties (including all those who are questioned or who have been requested to submit information or documentation in connection with an investigation) are prohibited from discussing the investigation, except with a legal or similar advisor.
 
3.0 PROCEDURE
The President shall ensure that appropriate operational procedures are in place. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, such procedures shall ensure allegations of harassment are investigated promptly and that due process is followed.
 
Except where all parties to a complaint agree, the investigation and determination of a harassment complaint shall not exceed three months in duration.
 
4.0 COMPLIANCE
Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action being taken against the offending party.
 
Procedure HR-403-PR
1.0  PURPOSE & SCOPE
These procedures prescribe the means of dealing  with formal allegations of harassment. The procedures ensure allegations of harassment are investigated promptly and that due process is followed. The procedures also ensure that, to the extent possible, the parties to an allegation of harassment are afforded every opportunity to employ alternative dispute resolution services as an alternate means of resolving the matter.
 
These procedures apply to all officers, employees, students, guests, vendors and clients of College of the North Atlantic.
 
2.0  PROCEDURES FOR INVESTIGATING ALLEGATIONS OF HARASSMENT
Subject to those procedures prescribed in a relevant collective agreement and/or other related College of the North Atlantic policies and procedures, the following procedures shall apply:

2.1  Complaints
  1. A person who has reasonable grounds for believing that a person has contravened the Harassment Policy may file a written and signed complaint with a Manager. Where necessary, a complaint may be filed in any other form that meets the communicative needs of the complainant. In such cases, the Manager shall prepare a written complaint on behalf of the complainant.
  2. A complaint made under subsection 2.1 (A)  shall be made within 6 months after the alleged contravention or, in the case of a continuing contravention, within 6 months after the last incidence of the alleged contravention.
2.2  Investigation
  1. Where a complaint is filed with a Manager, the Manager, or a person designated by the Manager, shall investigate the complaint and, subject to subsection 2.2 (G), complete the investigation within ten (10) working days of receipt of the complaint.
  2. Before an investigation is started under subsection 2.2 (A), the Manager shall  give notice of the complaint and of the start of an investigation of the complaint to the person against whom the complaint is made (the respondent).
  3. Before an investigation is started under subsection  2.2  (A),  the Manager shall inquire whether the complainant and the respondent wish to avail of alternative dispute resolution services. If both parties agree, the parties shall  be  referred  pursuant to subsection 2.2 (F) and (G) below.
  4. Within five (5) working days of the completion of an investigation, the Manager shall make a report to the appropriate Executive member who may determine whether or not to refer the matter to a panel of inquiry. The Executive member shall make the determination to refer or not to refer the complaint within ten (10) working days of receipt of the report.
  5. Where the Executive member declines to refer a complaint to a panel of inquiry, the complainant may apply to the President for an order that the Executive member refer the complaint to a panel of inquiry. An application for an order under subsection 2.2(E) shall be made within 30 days of the receipt by the complainant of notice that the Executive member has declined to refer the complaint.
  6. Notwithstanding all of the foregoing, a Manager or Executive member may, at his or her discretion and at any stage of the investigation, stop the investigation and refer the  complaint, the complainant and/or the respondent to a designated third party for advice, mediation and/or possible settlement. Under no circumstances shall such a referral delay proceedings more than ten (10) working days.
  7. Where a referral, pursuant to subsection 2.2(F), does not result in a settlement, the Manager or Executive member may reopen the complaint and proceed with the investigation of the complaint.
 
2.3  Powers of Investigation
The Manager, or a person appointed or designated  by  the  Manager,  may,  at  all  reasonable  times, so long as it is reasonably necessary to determine compliance with these procedures, enter any College owned or operated building, facility, office or related premises:
 
 
  1. To inspect, audit and examine records and documents; or
  2. To interview individual(s) occupying or in charge of that College building, facility, office or related premises and the individual(s) shall:
    1. Answer all questions concerning those matters put to them;
    2. Produce for inspection the records, documents, material requested by the Manager or a person appointed or designated by the Manager.

2.4  Settlement
  1. Where a Manager, or a person designated by the Manager, effects a settlement of a complaint he or she shall report the settlement to an Executive member. The Executive member shall respond, indicating approval or otherwise, within ten (10) working days of receipt of the settlement report.
  2. Where the report referred to in subsection 2.4(A) is approved by an Executive member, the Manager shall notify the parties that no further action will be taken with regard to the complaint unless the terms of a settlement are not complied with.
  3. Where the terms of a settlement referred to in subsection 2.4(A) or 2.4(D) are not complied with, an Executive member may reopen the complaint and proceed as if a settlement had not been effected.
  4. A complaint shall be considered settled for the purpose of this policy only if an Executive member approves the settlement and agrees to its terms.

2.5  Reference to a Panel of Inquiry
  1. Where an Executive member refers a matter to a panel of inquiry duly constituted by the  President or where the Executive member is directed to refer a matter to a panel of inquiry duly constituted by the President, the panel shall hear the matter.
  2. Where the Executive member refers a matter to  a panel of inquiry, the Executive member will notify any other Executive member that may have an interest in the proceedings. The Executive member will also keep the other effected parties informed of the progress and results of the investigation.