Harassment and Discrimination policies are essential corporate tools as they provide a roadmap for all the members of an organization in the complicated and difficult area of human rights; in short, they ensure that problems and friction within the workplace are dealt with fairly, transparently, and consistently. Through these policies, management, employees and third-parties dealing with the organization will know the standards of behaviour that will be expected of them. With effective resolution processes and procedures in place, all employees will realize that their issues will be taken seriously, and they will be familiar with both the informal and formal resolution options available to them.
Why does my organization need a Harassment and Discrimination Policy?
The Supreme Court of Canada has made it clear that every organization must adopt an effective and comprehensive Harassment and Discrimination Policy in order to provide proper guidance within the workplace. Such a policy also helps to keep workplace conflicts within the reach of management so that it can effectively address and resolve problems internally without the need for formal, outside intervention.
Why would we want to keep problems internal and resolved locally through such a Policy?
- It can be long and costly for all concerned to pursue a harassment/discrimination complaint through the courts;
- It can be an equally long and costly process to pursue a complaint through a Provincial, Federal, or State Human Rights body—some complaints take years to resolve;
- It provides a practical and accessible way for an individual to complain about improper workplace behaviour; without it, the invariable choice for that person is to "live with it or leave"—and if the employee leaves, the company may be held legally liable;
- It ensures that the person accused of improper behaviour maintains his or her rights in fair and impartial process;
- It allows problems to be addressed and resolved in the first instance before they get out of control;
- It becomes part of any organization's risk management plan/approach; and
- A Policy educates and informs everyone affected by it to the extent that workplace conflict is dramatically reduced and morale is conversely improved.
What kinds of policies can The Integrity Group create for my organization?
- Harassment and Discrimination
- Pregnancy and Parental Leave
- Workplace Accommodation
- Workplace Equality
- Respectful Workplace
- Workplace bullying
- Workplace violence