Respectful Workplace Procedure

Intent:

The Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) supports the creation and promotion of a College work and learning environment that is free from any form of discrimination and/or harassment. All members of the ACAD community shall be treated at all times with dignity and respect.

Scope:

This Procedure applies to all members of the ACAD community, including all faculty, staff, students, volunteers, contractors and visitors.

Definitions:

Discrimination: differential treatment of individuals on the basis of certain characteristics which are protected grounds under the Alberta Human Rights Act, including race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, ancestry, age, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status, or sexual orientation. Bona Fide Occupational Requirements that are reasonable and justifiable are exempt.

Harassment: any unwelcome conduct – verbal, physical or by innuendo – that is abusive, unfair or demeaning toward any person or group that has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Sexual Harassment: any unwelcome conduct, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any person and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment is discrimination based on the protected ground of gender under the Alberta Human Rights Act.

Advisor: The Director of Human Resources, and members of the Executive Leadership team, as appointed by the President + CEO, are neutral facilitators for complaint resolution. Advisors ensure that all complaints are addressed efficiently and effectively and act in an advisory capacity to the college community.

Complainant: any college community member who believes that they are being subjected to harassing or discriminatory conduct and who initiates the Complaint Resolution Process.

Receiving Manager: the manager (Manager/Chair/Director/Vice-President) who receives the complaint, formal or informal, and initiates the Complaint Resolution Process.  

Respondent: any college community member against whom the Complaint Resolution Process is initiated.

Support Person: any person internal or external to the College who acts to support the complainant or the respondent throughout the Complaint Resolution Process.

Principles:

  1. ACAD shall comply with the requirements of the Alberta Human Rights Act.
  2. Members of the college community have a responsibility to respect the principles of this procedure and to understand and facilitate the resolution of complaints in accordance with this procedure.
  3. Internal processes and guidelines shall be established for handling complaints of discrimination and harassment, and all members of ACAD shall be informed of these procedures.
  4. Complaints shall be dealt with in a timely and respectful manner, and suitable corrective action shall be taken, as necessary and appropriate.
  5. Confidentiality, where possible, will be maintained during the investigation of a complaint.
  6. A college community member, who lodges a complaint, as well as any person providing relevant information, shall be protected from any form of retaliation.
  7. This procedure is not necessarily limited to the workplace or work hours. Harassing or discriminatory conduct that occurs away from the physical workplace but that has implications or repercussions in the workplace falls under this procedure and affiliated guidelines.
  8. Any breach of the Respectful Workplace Procedure may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
  9. The College shall take appropriate disciplinary action against:
    • a complainant who has made a frivolous, vindictive or vexatious complaint
    • any person who interferes with the investigation or resolution of a complaint.

Procedure:

  1. Each Chair/Director/Vice-President/President + CEO shall communicate the Respectful Workplace Procedure to the ACAD community members within their area of responsibility on an annual basis and/or as required, such as at hiring.
  2. Any community member who believes that they are being subjected to harassing or discriminating conduct is advised to first communicate this information verbally or in writing to the individual(s) involved and request that the offending behaviour cease. If the complainant is not comfortable in raising their concern with the individual(s) involved, for example, they believe their safety is compromised, they may first report the problem to a Receiving Manager for consultation.
  3. The Receiving Manager (Manager/Chair/Director/Vice-President) shall take immediate and appropriate action to report or deal with incidents of discrimination and harassment, whether the incident is personally observed or brought to their attention.
  4. The Receiving Manager shall forward formal complaints to an Advisor who will then lead the formal investigation with support from the Receiving Manager.
  5. The respective Vice-President shall be notified immediately by the Receiving Manager of any formal complaints and shall be available for consultation throughout the Complaint Resolution Process.
  6. The President + CEO and Human Resources shall be notified immediately by the Receiving Manager of any formal complaints.
  7. Complaints against the President + CEO will be reported to the ACAD Board Chair.
  8. Management reserves the right to proceed with an investigation in circumstances that are deemed sufficiently serious even if the complainant indicates they may not want to take the matter forward.
  9. Human Resources will act as a consultant to any and all parties throughout the Complaint Resolution Process and will maintain a comprehensive record and complaint file of any formal complaint.  

Complaint Resolution Process

The Complaint Resolution Process is outlined in detail in the Respectful Workplace Administrative Guidelines and may include any or all of the following steps: 

  • Informal Consultation
  • Formal Complaint Process
  • Investigation
  • Appeal
  • Mediation and/or Complaint Hearing (at the discretion of the President + CEO)

Reference:

  • Alberta Human Rights Act
  • Respectful Workplace Policy
  • Code of Conduct Policy
  • Code of Conduct Procedure