Health and Safety Commitment
TAPA and its Board of Directors are committed to ensuring and protecting the health and safety of its most valuable resource: its people. We make every effort to provide employees, contracted personnel, customers, visitors and volunteers with a safe and healthy work environment, while continuously striving to eliminate any identified hazard that might result in injury to people or damage to property.
This commitment will be fulfilled through our Health and Safety policies and procedures as articulated in the TAPA Workplace Harassment Policy and the TAPA Workplace Violence Policy which are in compliance with all applicable federal and provincial legislation. These policies and procedures will be reviewed periodically to ensure their ongoing effectiveness.
Health and safety is a shared commitment. It is everyone’s responsibility to recognize hazards in the workplace, to protect their own safety while they are working in the office, and to respect the health and safety policies of the organization.
In addition, TAPA considers it part of its mandate to inform its members of their responsibility to embrace, implement and enforce Health and Safety policies and procedures within their respective theatres and work-spaces.
At TAPA, the safety of the public, our volunteers and anyone who works at and for TAPA is important. Health and safety will take priority in all areas of the theatre, and there is no task so urgent that it cannot be completed safely. Through continuous, cooperative and joint efforts, a positive climate will be created, and health and safety goals will be achieved.
Workplace Harassment Policy and Procedures
The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) does not tolerate harassment in the workplace perpetuated by or against employees, members, customers, patrons, or other parties an employee comes in contact with when carrying out his/her job-related duties. In the event of a harassing incident perpetuated by an employee, TAPA will act to discipline the employee, up to and including termination of employment with cause.
TAPA prohibits any form of reprisals or retaliation against an employee who files a complaint under this Statement of Policy and Procedure or who has provided information regarding a complaint. Employees who engage in covert or overt reprisals and retaliation will be subject to immediate corrective action, up to and including termination of employment with cause. Alleged retaliation or reprisals are subject to the same complaint procedures and penalties as complaints of harassment.
TAPA recognized that individuals may find it difficult to come forward with a complaint about harassment under this Statement of Policy and Procedure because of concerns of confidentiality. Therefore, all complaints concerning
workplace harassment, as well as the names of parties involved, will be treated as confidential; however limited disclosure may be required while TAPA fulfills its obligation to conduct an investigation into the complaint, or where law requires disclosure. No record of the complaint will be maintained in the personnel file of the complainant. If there is a finding of improper conduct that results in disciplinary action, it will be reflected only in the file of the person who engaged in such conduct, in the same way as any other disciplinary action.
The purpose of this policy is to raise awareness of what harassment is and to establish procedures to report and handle incidents of harassment. It is expected that by making everyone aware of what constitutes harassment, by promoting the position of the Company that harassment is not tolerated and by providing an understanding of the consequences for harassment, we will foster a work place culture in which such behaviour is minimized or prevented. It is recognized that harassment may evolve into violence and therefore, minimizingthe incidence of harassment will enhance the safety and security of TAPA employees, members, volunteers, independent contractors, customers, patrons, and other visitors to TAPA worksites. Worksites include all places that TAPA may be operating both on a regular basis and for special events.
The policy will also advise employees who report alleged incidents that the matter will be treated confidentially, and shall only be disclosed to the extent necessary to complete an investigation into the matter, but that the incident may be reported without fear of retaliation or reprisal. The policy is the companion policy of TAPA’s Workplace Violence Policy and Procedures.
This policy applies to all employees, regardless of position, classification or union membership. It also applies to all persons who attend a TAPA workplace including, but not limited to, independent contractors/artists, patrons, customers, suppliers, volunteers and visitors at any TAPA workplace. Everyone in the workplace must be dedicated to preventing workplace harassment. Managers, supervisors, staff and volunteers are expected to uphold this policy, and will be held accountable by TAPA.
This policy applies not only during working time, but also to any activities on or off of the company’s premises, which could reasonably be associated with the workplace (e.g. work related social events, off site locations where TAPA business occurs, or during travel for TAPA business.)
4. WHAT IS WORKPLACE HARASSMENT?
“Harassment” means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conducts against a worker in workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.
The conduct or comments typically, but not necessarily, happen more than once. Such behaviour includes any inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or gesture by a person that adversely affects the worker’s psychological or physical well-being and that the person knows or ought reasonably to know would cause a worker to be embarrassed, demeaned, humiliated or intimidated.
Examples of harassment include:
- Making remarks, jokes or innuendos that are unkind, or that demean, ridicule, intimidate, or offend;
- Displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials in print or electronic form;
- Spreading rumours;
- Unwelcome, offensive or intimidating phone calls, e-mails or text messages;
- Unwelcome gifts or attention; or
- Inappropriate sexual touching, advances, suggestions or requests.
Prohibited harassment under this policy can include acts, comments or behaviour by an individual against another because of that person’s race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, age, record of offences, marital status, sexual preference, family status, or disability.
5. WHAT IS NOT WORKPLACE HARASSMENT?
Reasonable action or conduct by an employer, manager or supervisor that is part of his or her normal work function would not normally be considered workplace harassment. This is the case even if there are sometimes unpleasant consequences for a worker. Examples could include changes in work assignments, scheduling, job assessment and evaluation, workplace inspections, implementation of dress codes and disciplinary action. This list is not exhaustive.
Differences of opinion or minor disagreements between co-workers or between a worker and supervisor would also not generally be considered workplace harassment.
- Employees are expected to use the complaints process responsibly.
- Employees are responsible for informing their Supervisors of any harassment they experience or witness according to the procedures set out in this policy.
- For purposes of this policy, “Supervisor” should be defined broadly. In most circumstances, incidents should be reported to one’s immediate supervisor, however, if the incident includes the supervisor, then the report should be given to the Executive Director of TAPA. If the incident includes the Executive Director then the report should be given to the President of the Board of Directors.
- Employees are responsible to attending any training or information sessions provided by the employer to reduce harassment.
- Employees are expected to co-operate with company investigators, the police or other authorities as required during any investigation related to workplace harassment.
- Supervisors are responsible for actively promoting a positive, harassment-free work environment and intervening when problems occur.
- Supervisors are responsible for dealing with inappropriate actions of others that come to their attention.
- Supervisors are responsible for tracking and reporting incidents of harassment to the Executive Director of TAPA, according to the timelines set out in the procedures. The Harassing Incident Report Form and Harassment Incident Investigation Checklist are to be used for this purpose.
- Supervisors are responsible for ensuring proper medical care is provided to anyone involved in an incident and for securing the safety of employees, before investigating the incident or taking reports.
- Supervisors are responsible for co-operating with company investigators, the police or other authorities as required during any investigation related to workplace harassment.
Employees are encouraged to attempt to resolve their concerns by direct communication with the person(s) engaging in the unwelcome conduct. Where employees feel confident or comfortable in doing so, they should communicate their disapproval in clear terms to the person(s) whose conduct or comments are offensive and unwelcome, and order such person(s) to stop at once. The employee should keep a written record of the date, time, details of the conduct and witnesses, if any.
Employees who are not confident or comfortable with direct communication, or if such direct communication was not successful, should report the matter to their Supervisor, as defined above.
If informal attempts at resolving the issue are not appropriate, or prove to be ineffective, a formal complaint may be filed. To file a formal complaint:
- Provide a letter of complaint that contains a brief account of the offensive incident (i.e. when it occurred, the persons involved, names of witnesses, if any.) The letter should also include the remedy sought and be signed and dated by the person complaining;
- File the complaint with your supervisor, the Executive Director, or the President of the Board of Directors, as appropriate;
- Cooperate with those responsible for investigating the complaint.
Reporting and Investigation
Every incident of harassment in the workplace should be reported immediately to a Supervisor. The Supervisor shall make the appropriate inquiries of the victim and witnesses to determine if the incident is minor or serious.
In the event of an incident/complaint:
- The Supervisor will determine if mediation is appropriate and if so, mediate or arrange for mediation of the situation;
- Commence the appropriate investigation process immediately; and
- Depending on the complexity of the complaint, the Supervisor shall endeavour, within two (2) weeks of receiving the complaint, write a report outlining the details, facts and witnesses of the incident and submit the report to the Executive Director or President of the Board of Directors.
- If the investigation results in finding a situation of harassment and if the perpetrator is an employee, then TAPA shall apply appropriate disciplinary measures based on the facts of the incident and the perpetrator’s employment record.
All complaints shall be handled in a manner that is as confidential as possible, while not inhibiting the conduct of an investigation. Information concerning a complaint, or action taken as a result of the investigation, will not be released to anyone who is not involved with the investigation or as is necessary to complete the investigation.
Disciplinary action for violations of this policy will take into consideration the nature and impact of the violations, and may include a verbal or written reprimand, suspension (with or without pay) or termination (with or without notice). Similarly deliberate false accusations are of an equally serious nature and will also result in disciplinary action up to and including termination without notice for cause. Note, however, that an unproven allegation does not mean that harassment did not occur or that there was a deliberate false allegation. It simply means that there is an insufficient evidentiary basis to proceed or that while the complainant may have genuinely had reason to believe that there was harassment, the investigation has not borne out the complaint.