The Edmonton Police Commission (Commission) is committed to creating and maintaining a vibrant, healthy, safe, and caring work environment for all Commission employees. The Commission promotes a work environment free from discrimination or harassment; one in which everyone treats each other with respect and dignity.
Harassment in the workplace creates an intimidating and offensive climate, is a form of discrimination, affects individual’s dignity and self-esteem, and will not be tolerated by the Commission.
The Commission upholds all laws in place including, but not limited to, the Human Rights Act for the Province of Alberta.
HARASSMENT: Is conduct by an individual that means to demean, humiliate, or embarrass and is also any act of intimidation or threat that the individual knew or ought to reasonably have known would cause offense or harm. Harassment also occurs when an employee is subjected to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct because of race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status, or sexual orientation.
The behavior need not be intentional in order to be considered harassment.
Examples of harassment that will not be tolerated at the Commission include, but are not limited to: verbal or physical abuse, threats, derogatory remarks, jokes, innuendo, or taunts related to any of the protected grounds listed above.
Bullying is an humiliating, offensive, and intimidating behavior and also a form of harassment. It is the impact of the behavior on others, not the intent, which determines whether or not bullying has occurred.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Unwanted sexual advances, unwanted requests for sexual favours, and other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can include such things as pinching, patting, rubbing, leering, “dirty” jokes, pornographic materials, comments, suggestions, innuendoes, requests, or demands of a sexual nature.
INDEPENDENT HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) CONSULTANT: A sole firm held on retainer by the Commission to provide advice to employees on issues of harassment or discrimination and may investigate harassment complaints on behalf of an employee.
- The Executive Director (ED) of the Commission will strive to realize a respectful workplace by setting, communicating, and modeling clear expectations of employee behaviours in relation to other employees and stakeholders. The ED may provide or facilitate appropriate training, education, and awareness information for all employees that is congruent with a respectful workplace.
- Any individual subjected to discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment has the right to bring their concern to the ED, and/or the Chair of the Commission, and/or to an independent HR consultant, and/or to the alleged offender.
- The ED and/or the Chair of the Commission are responsible for ensuring that complaints are addressed in a timely manner.
- Complaints may be resolved through an informal verbal complaint mechanism, which may involve mediation or by submitting a formal written complaint to the ED and/or Chair of the Commission and/or an independent HR consultant.
- Individuals alleged to have violated this policy are entitled to know the name(s) of individual(s) making an informal or formal complaint. In the case of a formal complaint, the respondent shall receive a copy of the written complaint.
- Reasonable efforts shall be made to respect the confidential nature of all complaints while recognizing that absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed owing to the need for investigations and the need to inform the alleged individual; and
- Nothing in this policy affects a complainant’s right from seeking a civil remedy or recourse through any administrative tribunal.
- INFORMAL COMPLAINT:
- The complainant may convey objections to the individual directly or through the ED and/or Chair of the Commission.
- If the complaint is about the ED and the Chair of the Commission, then the complainant may contact the Vice Chair.
- The complainant should keep written records regarding the incident(s) and of any attempts to inform the respondent directly.
- If the ED, Chair of the Commission, or Vice Chair receives an informal complaint they shall take action to resolve the complaint expediently.
- The ED, Chair, or Vice Chair shall take the following actions:
- Provide the complainant and respondent with information regarding discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment, including this policy and advise them where assistance is available.
- Assist the complainant in speaking to the respondent directly or speak to the respondent on the complainant’s behalf to outline the allegations and attempt to resolve the complaint informally.
- Monitor the status of the complaint to see that it is satisfactorily resolved with a reasonable time limit.
- If the ED, Chair, or Vice Chair is unable to resolve the complaint, the complainant and respondent will be asked whether they are willing to enter into voluntary mediation through a neutral third party selected by the ED, Chair, or Vice Chair.
- If the informal complaint is not resolved through mediation, then a formal complaint can be filed.
- If the behavior of the respondent appears to be in violation of this policy, then a warning may be issued that such behavior is unacceptable. Failure to discontinue the behavior may result in a formal complaint.
- FORMAL COMPLAINT:
- A formal complaint consists of a signed written statement outlining the allegations, describing the specific incident(s), the dates (if available), and any witness(es).
- The written statement can be delivered to either the ED or Chair of the Commission. In the case the formal complaint is against both of these individuals then the statement can be submitted to the Vice Chair and/or independent HR consultant.
- In the event that the complaint submitted is against both the Chair and ED, then the Vice Chair will take on the responsibility of ensuring the formal complaint process is followed.
- The ED or Chair of the Commission shall provide a copy of the complaint to the respondent.
- The ED or Chair of the Commission may retain a third party to conduct an investigation regarding the complaint.
- The findings shall be detailed in a report back to the ED or the Chair of the Commission.
- If the results of the investigation support the allegations in the letter of complaint, a range of sanctions may be imposed on the respondent by the ED or Chair of the Commission. The sanctions depend upon the nature and seriousness of the offence and include a verbal warning, written reprimand with a copy retained in the respondent’s file, suspension, or termination of employment.
- If the results of the investigation do not support the allegations, the complaint will be deemed unfounded, and a letter will be issued indicating that the respondent has been cleared of all allegations.
- If the evidence indicates that the complainant knowingly and willfully made false allegations in an attempt to cause harm to the respondent, a range of sanctions may be imposed as outlined in 2(2).
- Either party has the right to seek civil or criminal redress through the courts or to file a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
- No employee shall take retaliatory action with the intent of dissuading or punishing an individual for participating in the complaint resolution process. Sanctions may be imposed for retaliation.
- Human Rights Act
- EPC Policy # 1.1.3 – Discrimination and Harassment