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Harassment Policy

Membership Policy Approved October 10, 2017

Harassment

Purpose:

The Powerhouse Theatrical Society is committed to providing a secure and comfortable environment, through relationships built on mutual respect, and to ensuring an environment for its members that is free from harassment and/or the fear of harassment. Every member has the right to expect to be treated fairly and with respect always.

It is the intent of the Powerhouse Theatrical Society to take every reasonable measure to ensure that no member is subject to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct, from whatever the source. Harassment in any form violates fundamental rights and personal dignity and integrity.

Definition:

Harassment is defined as any unwanted physical, sexual, or verbal or written conduct that offends or humiliates, or is intended to humiliate by its nature, whether on a one-time basis or in a continuous series of incidents. Harassment has the effect or is calculated to interfere with an individual’s performance. It results in creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment, results in a change in some condition related to the members status within the Society, and results in a social or economic detriment to the person and to the Society. Harassment can consist of a single incident or several incidents that occur over a time. Individuals have a right to be treated with respect in the workplace. The Society, in exercising its responsibility, will endeavor always to provide a safe and healthy work environment which is supportive of both productivity and the dignity of every person, including employees, volunteers and customers.

Policy Statement:

Harassment is a form of discrimination. Harassment occurs when a person or group is subjected (often repeatedly) to unwelcome comments or behaviors that is insulting or demeaning, or is otherwise offensive. Common examples of harassment include name calling, telling offensive jokes, and making offensive gestures.

Harassment is harmful because it attacks the dignity and self-respect of the victim. In the workplace, it may negatively affect both the victim’s ability to perform their duties and the work environment.

In B.C., it is illegal to discriminate against or harass a person because of their:

  • race;
  • colour;
  • ancestry;
  • place of origin;
  • religion;
  • marital status;
  • family status;
  • physical or mental disability;

  • sexual orientation;
  • age (19 and over);
  • criminal conviction (in employment only);
  • political belief (in employment only);
  • lawful source of income (in tenancy only).
  • sex (includes pregnancy, breastfeeding, and sexual harassment);
  • Human Rights

Examples of Harassment:

  • jokes based on gender, sexual orientation, or racial stereotypes;
  • comments that make fun of or belittle or insult people because of their sex, pregnancy, race, or
  • physical or mental disability;
  • racist, sexist, or anti-gay publications or graffiti displayed in the workplace;
  • any unwelcome behavior, such as starting rumors in the workplace, that is engaged in, in whole or in part, because of a person’s race, sexual orientation, or other similar personal characteristic.

Procedures:

In the case where a member is harassed, the member is to contact the Producer/Director/Stage Manager/ Board Delegate with whom they feel comfortable discussing with, through either a verbal and written statement.

Keep a record of the incident(s), including date, time of occurrence, location, what happened, witnesses, etc…

The statement will be reviewed by the Board Delegate (as so appointed by the Board) in consultation with the Producers and appropriate action will be taken if required. Response will be presented within 5 business days.

(BC Human Rights Code) Dealing with Harassment

If you are being harassed because of your race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital or family status, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or age:

  • If it is safe to do so, tell the person firmly that their actions or comments are unacceptable and ask them to stop. If you find this difficult, consider asking a friend for help.
  • Keep a written record of exactly what happened and when, and of what was said.
  • File a human rights complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal. (See Human Rights Complaints.)

Once reported, the Board of Directors or the Director or Producer receiving the report will begin an investigation, or bring in appropriate parties to investigate, and all necessary steps will be taken to resolve the problem in an impartial and confidential manner. The alleged harasser will be told that there is a complaint and the name of the complainant.

If the investigation yields evidence to support the complaint, the harasser will be disciplined, and appropriate documentation will be kept. Disciplinary action will vary depending on the severity of the harassment, whether the harassment was intentional or unintentional, whether the offense is an isolated case or other cases of harassment are identified, and other mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Discipline may range from education and counseling to written warnings and suspension or loss of membership. The complainant and/or the alleged harasser may be encouraged to seek outside supportive counseling.

All complaints will be treated seriously. All information obtained during the investigation will be confidential, except where practical and necessary to determine a course of action, or to inform the proper authorities, where appropriate.

Members also have the right to contact the British Columbia Human Rights Commission, and if appropriate, the RCMP to file a charge.

Human Rights Complaints

To make a complaint under the Human Rights Code, all of the following must be true:

  • you have been singled out and treated differently and poorly, compared to others;
  • you are being treated differently and poorly because of a personal characteristic, such as your race, colour, religious belief, sex, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation; and
  • the treatment occurred in a public situation, for example, at work, in a store or restaurant, or between a landlord and tenant.

Sexual Harassment

Purpose:

To properly address any issues surrounding Sexual Harassment.

Policy Statement:

Harassment: any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a threatening nature, whether on a one-time basis or in a continuous series of incidents,

Examples of Sexual Harassment include:

  • unwelcome sexual suggestions or requests;
  • unwelcome touching or physical contact;
  • staring at or making unwelcome comments about someone’s body;
  • That might reasonably be expected to cause offence, embarrassment or humiliation to any employee/volunteer or,
  • That might reasonably be expected to be perceived by the employee/volunteer as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or advancement.

Procedures:

In the case where an member is harassed, the member is to contact the Producer/Director/ Board appointed delegate/Stage Manager through either a verbal and written statement.

The statement will be reviewed by the Board of Directors and appropriate action will be taken if required.

Warning Policy

Unprofessional behavior and negative work habits may result in a warning to you that such behavior is unacceptable. At the discretion of Board, first offenses will result in either a verbal or written warning, depending on the degree of the infraction. Warnings will be issued by the Board. Second warnings will be in writing and will require a meeting with the Board delegate. A third warning may result in termination/expulsion, to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Board of Directors.

Immediate Dismissal

Certain behavior will not be tolerated. The Board reserves the right to immediately terminate/expel any membership exhibiting the following:

  • Harassing, disruptive or threatening behavior.
  • Physical violence towards another member or member of the public.
  • Intoxication while at work.
  • Illegal drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Theft
  • Disclosure of confidential information (verbal or written) and any other behavior that is deemed an immediate threat to The Society, volunteers and/or the public.