October 16, 2017

Violence and Harassment Policy

Purpose
To ensure that volunteers engage with Not Just Tourists Toronto in an environment that is free from violence and harassment, and that any good faith concerns may be made by volunteers without fear of reprisal or retaliation.

Policy Statement

Violence

Not Just Tourists Toronto does not tolerate any form of violence, including physical violence or sexual violence and verbal threats of violence or sexual violence made by or against volunteers. Breach of this policy by volunteers will result in appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Volunteers are expected to report any incident or threat of violence to a Not Just Tourists Toronto member.

Harassment
Not Just Tourists Toronto promotes ethical and respectful service and volunteer engagement practices that incorporate equitable treatment for all volunteers. Not Just Tourists Toronto will not tolerate, ignore, or condone any form of harassment (including sexual harassment) and is committed to promoting appropriate standards of conduct at all times. Harassment is a serious form of misconduct, which may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. If such harassment occurs, Not Just Tourists Toronto will take any steps available to ensure a harassment-free environment, including barring the harasser from its meetings, events, and online platforms.

Complaints
Volunteers have the right to report any good faith complaints to the Volunteer Coordinator. In the event that the complaint regards the Volunteer Coordinator, complaints should be reported to the Program Director. Volunteers found to have deliberately made vexatious or malicious complaints, or to have issued complaints in bad faith, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Definitions
“Harassment” means a course of comments or actions that are known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome. It can involve words or actions that are known or should be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning or unwelcome.

“Sexual harassment” is defined as “(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 volunteer and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.” (Ministry of Labour)

“Violence” is the exercise of physical force by a person against another that causes or could cause physical injury to them, an attempt to exercise physical force against a person that could cause physical injury to them, or a statement or behaviour that is reasonable for a someone to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against them that could cause physical injury.

Responsibilities

Volunteer Responsibilities
All volunteers are responsible for respecting the dignity and rights of other volunteers, and everyone working with or receiving service from Not Just Tourists Toronto. Volunteers will abide by these policies and the Ontario Human Rights Code. Volunteers have a right to equal treatment without discrimination or harassment. Volunteers are responsible for informing a Not Just Tourists Toronto Director/Coordinator of any incident or potential risk of violence and/or harassment that they experience or witness.

Management Responsibilities
Management will ensure that proper medical care is provided before investigating or reporting an incident if necessary, and track incidents of violence. Management will cooperate with police in the event of an investigation. Per the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Policy, all management have the following general responsibilities with respect to human rights:
• Not engaging in behaviour that would constitute discrimination or harassment under the policy
• Setting and enforcing standards and appropriate conduct
• Having thorough knowledge of the policy
• Being able to clarify what constitutes harassment and discrimination

 

Procedures

Statement on Complaints
Volunteers who lodge good faith complaints may do so without fear of retaliation or reprisal. Alleged retaliation or reprisals are subject to the same complaint procedures and discipline as complaints of discrimination and harassment. Complaints will be kept confidential, with disclosure only occurring if deemed necessary to adequately resolve issues. Complaints issued that are found to have been made in bad faith will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Violence
Volunteers who witness a violent incident during the course of their duties are expected to notify management immediately. If volunteers feel in danger they should remove themselves immediately from the vicinity and call 911. When management receives a report of an alleged assault, they will make every effort to make sure the person who experienced the assault receives adequate attention, and, if necessary, medical care. The option of reporting the incident to the police should be discussed with the person alleging the assault. The decision as to whether or not to make a police report should rest with the person alleging the assault.

Harassment
Volunteers who feel they have been the target of harassment or discrimination have three options for managing the concern:

Direct Communication – to stop behaviour that is unwelcome with as little intervention by Not Just Tourists Toronto as possible
Informal Complaint – to stop the behaviour that is unwelcome with the assistance of Not Just Tourists Toronto
Formal Complaint – to stop the behavior that is unwelcome with the assistance of Not Just Tourists Toronto, with the possibility of taking legal action against the respondent; this process is complainant-driven.

In the case of any option, records regarding the incident, complaint and process will be retained for both complainant and respondent.

1. Direct Communication
In some instances, informing the individual that their behavior was unwelcome will resolve the issue. The complainant may wish to communicate directly with the person who behaved inappropriately. Not Just Tourists Toronto supports the choice of volunteers to manage incidents of harassment or discrimination by communicating directly with the person who made the unwelcome remark or action. If they elect to follow the Direct Communication option, volunteers will:

Inform the Volunteer Coordinator of the incident and the decision to follow this option. If the harassment or discrimination involves the Volunteer Coordinator, the volunteer should report to the Program Director.

Communicate with the person who made the unwelcome remark or action, in person or through email.

Describe the incident and why it is a problem.

State that the behavior is unwelcome and inappropriate.

Maintain documentation of the communication (email or personal notes, including details about the incident, names, dates and times, and the names of any witnesses)

2. Informal Complaint
If a volunteer who feels they have been the target of harassment or discrimination does not wish to communicate directly with the accused, or if the complainant has attempted this option and the issue has not been resolved, they can elect to lodge an informal complaint. Steps for the Informal Complaint procedure are as follows:

The complainant should report the incident to the Volunteer Coordinator. If the incident involves the Volunteer Coordinator, the volunteer should forward their complaint to the Program Director.

If the Not Just Tourists Toronto representative determines the incident violates the Harassment Policy, the complainant may elect to:

have a representative from Not Just Tourists Toronto management intervene on their behalf and discuss the issues with the accused, or; have a representative from Not Just Tourists Toronto management facilitate a discussion between both parties to reach a resolution. The complainant may choose to escalate to the Formal Complaint procedure or to stop the process at any point in the proceedings. If the complainant wishes to stop the process, a written document stating this must be provided to Not Just Tourists Toronto.

3. Formal Complaint
The complainant may issue a formal complaint at any time. Formal complaints must be made in writing to the Volunteer Coordinator or the Program Director. If the complainant wishes to withdraw a complaint, they may do so at any point in the process by informing Not Just Tourists Toronto in writing. The following steps will be observed in the event of a Formal Complaint.

Volunteers will report the complaint to the Volunteer Coordinator in writing. If the complaint involves the Volunteer Coordinator, the volunteer will report to the Program Director.

If the complainant and respondent work together directly, the complainant will be consulted about making arrangements to avoid contact with the respondent. Not Just Tourists Toronto will make every effort to make reasonable accommodations for the complainant, including providing the option for remote volunteering.

A member Not Just Tourists Toronto management will be assigned to conduct a thorough and objective investigation of the allegation. Either the Volunteer Coordinator or Program Director will assign someone to this duty.
The investigator will inform the respondent of the complaint in writing.

The investigator will conduct the investigation within a reasonable amount of time, but no more than two (2) weeks. The investigation may include: interviews with the parties and/or witness and a review of e-mails and other written materials. Once the investigation is complete, the investigator will decide if there is sufficient evidence to determine guilt. If:
A determination of guilt is made, the investigator will decide the repercussions, up to and including dismissal from volunteer duties with no option to return in the future, and notifying the police. A record of the complaint and the result of the investigation will remain on the file of the respondent for a minimum of three (3) years.
The respondent is determined innocent, a record of the complaint and the result of the investigation will remain on the volunteer’s file for a minimum of three (3) years.

There is insufficient evidence to determine guilt or innocence, no further action will be taken by Not Just Tourists Toronto. A record of the complaint and the result of the investigation will remain on the file of the respondent for a minimum of three (3) years.