SUMMERLAND YACHT CLUB HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION POLICY 2010

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

Every employee of the Summerland Yacht Club has the right to work without fear of harassment or discrimination in the workplace.

The Summerland Yacht Club is committed to providing a work environment in which all employees are treated with respect and dignity, free from harassment and discrimination.

The Summerland Yacht Club will not tolerate or condone any form of harassment or discrimination and will make every effort to ensure no employee is subjected to such conduct.

All Summerland Yacht Club members are responsible for ensuring that the workplace is free of harassment and discrimination. Any member or employee who commits harassment or discrimination, or who knowingly condones the harassment of an employee will be subject to disciplinary action, ranging from apologies to warnings to censure, to expulsion.

DEFINITION

Harassment is unacceptable conduct or comment that undermines the employment relationship or that might reasonably be expected to cause offence or humiliation to any employee or might be viewed by the employee as placing improper conditions on employment.

TYPES OF HARASSMENT

Harassment of an individual or individuals on any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act or the British Columbia Human Rights Act. These include age, race, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, disability, marital status, family status, sexual orientation or unrelated criminal or summary conviction offences or offences for which a pardon has been granted.

Such harassment includes deliberate gestures, comments, questions, representations or other behaviours that ought to reasonably be known to the harasser to be unwelcome to the recipient. Derogatory comments, taunts, threats, jokes, teasing or jeering about race, colour, place of origin, or about adornments and rituals associated with cultural or religious beliefs are examples of racial and religious harassment. Harassment in the form of discrimination can occur based on any of the Human Rights Code grounds.

Sexual harassment is deliberate and/or unsolicited verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is unwelcome to the recipient.

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • sexual advances with actual or implied work-related consequences.
  • unwelcome remarks, questions, jokes, or innuendo of a sexual nature.
  • unwanted flirtations, advances or propositions of a sexual nature.
  • verbal abuse, intimidation or threats of a sexual nature.
  • leering, staring or making sexual gestures.
  • display of pornographic or other sexual material.
  • offensive pictures, graffiti, cartoons, sayings or emails.
  • unwanted physical contact such as touching, patting or pinching.
  • physical assault of a sexual nature.

General harassment can include particular or frequent criticisms of employees by persons not in authority, or the giving of orders or reprimands to employees by a person not in authority. It can take the form of written or verbal abuse or innuendo, intimidation, threats or means of embarrassing the individual. Such unacceptable behaviour can range from the explicit to more subtle and persistent forms of placing an employee in an untenable situation.

The abuse or misuse of authority occurs when a person who supervises or is in a position of authority exercises that authority in a manner than serves no legitimate work purpose, and which ought to reasonably be known to be inappropriate.

POLICY AND THE LAW

The intent of this policy is to prevent or deal with situations of harassment and discrimination against Club employees or contractors, for the benefit and protection of those individuals. It does not relate to similar circumstances that might occur between or among members, but deals solely with employees. The policy can be applied and enforced by the Summerland Yacht Club, but not exclusive of the law. The Canadian and BC Human Rights Act, the BC Labour Code or relevant Acts of Canada or the Province of course take precedence, as does any civil litigation. The policy is meant to be pre-emptive in nature, however, and has been developed to harmonize with the law. In the case of a physical assault, the police should be contacted immediately.

WHAT TO DO IN CASES OF HARASSMENT OR DISCRIMINATION

At the time the incident occurs, make your disapproval or unease immediately known to the harasser. Indicate clearly that the behaviour or remark is unacceptable to you. Ask the harasser to stop, preferably in the presence of a witness. If the harassment does not stop or if you feel uncomfortable with such confrontation, go to step number two.

Talk to someone about the problem. If possible, keep a written record of specific details, dates, times, the nature of the behaviour and witnesses, if any. Talk to someone you trust, whether it be the Office Manager, Kitchen/Bar Manager, a Flag Officer, or a member of the Executive or of the Board of Directors or another Club member.

If no action is taken regarding a complaint within thirty days of reporting the occurrence, write a letter to the Executive setting out the circumstances.

DEALING WITH COMPLAINTS OF HARASSMENT OR DISCRIMINATION

Any complaint of harassment or discrimination must be brought to the attention of the Club Executive by either the person to whom the complaint was made or by the complainant.

The Executive will make a preliminary assessment of the circumstances, advise the complainant, and ensure that the harassment ceases immediately.

In cases where the allegation of harassment is clear and obvious, the Executive can apply sanctions against the offending member, ranging from an apology to a warning to censure or to expulsion.

In more complicated or sensitive cases, the Executive may wish to request an investigation of the matter. The Executive will then appoint an individual or individuals to conduct such an enquiry. Such individuals should have a proven background in human resource management or in a legal or quasi-legal field. The investigation should strike a balance between being sensitive and supportive to the complainant while maintaining sufficient procedural safeguards to ensure fairness to the respondent.

Investigative findings will be presented to the Executive for the determination of remedial action or further enquiries.

Employees who bring forward a complaint under this policy will not be subject to any reprisal. However, the Executive may take appropriate action, including discipline, if the complaint is found to be frivolous, vindictive or vexatious.