FAQ - Harassment Prevention and Resolution

1.  Where do I find the policy?​
The Harassment Prevention and Resolution policy is available here electronically. 

2. ​What is our phi​​losophy? 
CFMWS believes that all employees of the Staff of the NPF have the right to be treated fairly, respectfully and with dignity in a workplace that is free of harassment. Everyone has the responsibility to treat others in the same manner that they want to be treated.
 
This is why we have a NPF Harassment Prevention and Resolution Policy and Guidelines to enable employees to have access to a complaint process that is prompt, sensitive, impartial, and designed to prevent embarrassment and reprisal.
 
​Our goal as an employer is to exercise due diligence to protect our employees.  
 
3. Am I being ​har​assed? 
Harassment is any unwelcome and improper conduct by an individual that is directed at and offensive to another person or persons in the workplace and which the individual knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm.
 
It comprises any objectionable act, comment or display that demeans, belittles or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment, or any act of intimidation or threat. It includes harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
 
4. What is discrimination in employ​ment?
 
Under the Canadian Human Rights Act​ it is against the law to discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, disability, genetic characteristics and a conviction for which a pardon has been granted or a record suspended.
 
5. Are there situations not consider​ed harassment?
Some situations at work might be perceived as harassment but might not be. These situations includes the following:
  • Normal exercise of management’s right to manage such as the day-to-day management of operations, performance at work or absenteeism, the assignment of tasks, reference checks, and the application of progressive discipline, up to and including termination, constitute the legitimate exercise of management’s authority. (Note. While exercising the normal managerial functions is not harassment, how such functions are exercised can risk giving rise to the potential for harassment or perceptions of harassment.); and
  • Workplace conflict in itself does not constitute harassment but could turn into harassment if no steps are taken to resolve the conflict.
  • Work related stress in itself does not constitute harassment, but the accumulation of stress factors may increase the risk of harassment.
  • Difficult conditions of employment, professional constraints, and organizational changes.
  • A single or isolated incident such as an inappropriate remark or having an abrupt manner.
  • A social relationship welcomed by both individuals.
  • Friendly gestures among co-workers such as a pat on the back.
6. What can I do if I believe that I have been harassed?
  • Self Help: If you believe that you have been harassed, you are encouraged to make it known to the other person as soon as possible in an attempt to resolve the problem. The earlier the problem is addressed and discussed, the better the chance of it being resolved and the inappropriate behaviour stopped.
  • Supervisor Intervention: If the problem is not resolved, or if you feel you cannot speak directly to the other person, you should notify your supervisor, or the manager at the next level. Supervisors can be instrumental in facilitating the resolution of a possible harassment situation by assisting the parties with the identification of issues and by addressing possible inappropriate behaviours. Supervisors can also initiate training and team development activities.
In order to take the next steps to resolve this situation, you can also seek advice/support from the Centre for Conflict Resolution and Ethics (CCRE):
  • Mediation: A voluntary process in which a trained impartial mediator facilitates communication between the parties and assists them to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.
  • File a complaint under the NPF Harassment Prevention & Resolution Policy and Guidelines.​​
7. What are your rights?
  • To work in a workplace free of harassment and discrimination.
  • To pursue early and informal resolution such as talking to the person directly, asking assistance to your supervisor or manager or mediation to resolve the situation you are facing, when appropriate, as they are the most expeditious and minimize the detrimental impacts on the parties and the workplace.
  • To submit a complaint and have it reviewed in a prompt, sensitive and impartial manner, without fear of reprisal.
8. What are your responsibilities?
  • Where possible and safe to do so, request that the offending behaviour cease;
  • To raise the matter with the immediate supervisor, or higher authority, if the immediate supervisor is the person perceived respondent;
  • To consider participating in informal resolution processes;
  • If a complaint is filed, to clearly state the allegations of their complaint, providing sufficient details of the incident(s), such as date, time, and location;
  • To participate cooperatively in the assessment of the complaint. This includes responding promptly to requests for information;
  • To participate cooperatively in the resolution process being pursued. This includes being available for meetings with the RO, managers, mediators or investigators; and
  • To maintain confidentiality, because discussion of a complaint with persons not involved in the complaint can be detrimental to achieving a resolution and have a detrimental impact on the workplace.
​​​9. How much time do I have to file a complaint?
A complaint of harassment must be filed within twelve months of the last event of alleged harassment leading to the complaint unless there are extenuating circumstances. The information provided must be as precise and concise as possible.

Allegations can go back further in time to describe incidents or events if you can demonstrate that they are directly related to the last event of alleged harassment that led to your complaint. This is especially necessary in cases where you intend to demonstrate a pattern of events.

10. How do I file a complaint? 
A complaint may be submitted to a manager or supervisor, the Human Resources Office, the Centre for Conflict Resolution and Ethics or to the Division Head.
 
11. What information should be included in a complaint? 
A complaint should include the following information:
  • The name of the Complainant;
  • Name of the Respondent;
  • The organizational relationship between the Complainant and the Respondent;
  • Details of the alleged behaviour, including the date(s), time(s) and location(s) of the specific incident(s);
  • The impact of the alleged harassment on the complainant;
  • The names, and contact information of any witnesses; and
  • The desired resolution of the Complainant.