All employees, students, contractors, and
volunteers have a right to work and learn in an environment free of
discrimination, harassment and violence in compliance with The Saskatchewan
Human Rights Code and The Saskatchewan Employment Act. Horizon School Division will take all
reasonably practicable steps to prevent workplace violence and harassment and
stop it if it occurs.
Horizon School Division is committed to
creating and maintaining a positive work environment where all employees,
students and volunteers are treated with respect, dignity and fairness. Any act of violence or harassment committed
by or against any worker, student or member of the public is unacceptable and
such conduct will not be tolerated. We are committed to implementing this
Administrative Procedure and to ensure that it is effective in preventing and
stopping violence and harassment of any kind, including taking corrective
action where it occurs.
- A copy of this Administrative Procedure will be provided to all employees as part of their initial employment package.
- A copy of this Administrative Procedure will be posted on our Division website.
1.1. Pursuant to The Saskatchewan Employment
Act, harassment means any inappropriate conduct, comment, display, action or
gesture by a person that either:
- is based on race, creed, religion, colour,
sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability, physical
size or weight, age, nationality, ancestry or place of origin; or
- 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 humiliated or intimidated
(sometimes referred to as personal harassment); and that constitutes a threat
to the health and safety of the worker.
1.2. Personal Harassment
This includes any inappropriate or
unwelcome conduct, comment, display, action or gesture by a person that:
- Adversely affects a worker’s psychological
or physical well-being;
- The perpetrator knows or ought to
reasonably know would cause the worker to be humiliated or intimidated.
To constitute harassment for the purposes
of the definition provided above, either of the following must be established:
- Repeated conduct, comments, displays,
actions or gestures;
- A single, serious occurrence of conduct, or
a single, serious comment, display, action or gesture, that has a lasting,
harmful effect on the worker.
Personal harassment may include, but is not
- Verbal or written abuse or threats;
- Insulting, derogatory or degrading
comments, jokes or gestures;
- Personal ridicule or malicious gossip;
- Unjustifiable interference with another’s
work or work sabotage;
- Refusing to work or co-operate with others;
- Demeaning an individual on the basis of
Prohibited Grounds other than gender; or
- Interference with or vandalizing personal
1.3. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is conduct, comment,
gesture or contact of a sexual nature that is offensive, unsolicited or unwelcome.
Sexual harassment may include, but is not
Verbal abuse or threats associated with
behaviour of a sexual nature, including a threat of reprisal for refusal to
comply with a sexually orientated request;
Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendos,
propositions or taunting about a person’s body, attire, sex or sexual
Displaying pornographic or sexually
explicit pictures or materials;
Unwelcome physical contact, staring,
leering or inappropriate observation of a co-worker of a sexual nature;
Exposing oneself sexually in the workplace;
Unwelcome invitations, advances, demands,
requests, direct or indirect, to engage in behavior of sexual nature;
Refusing to work with or have contact with
workers because of their sex, gender or sexual orientation.
Harassment can exist even where there is no
intention to harass or offend another. Every person must take care to ensure
that his or her conduct is not offensive to another.
1.4. Prohibited Grounds:
As set out in The Saskatchewan Human Rights
Code, prohibited grounds of discrimination include religion, creed, marital
status, family status, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, colour,
ancestry, nationality, place of origin, race or perceived race, receipt of
public assistance and gender identity.
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in
employment on the basis of a prohibited ground.
1.5. What is NOT Harassment
This Administrative Procedure does not
extend or apply to reasonable actions taken by an employer in the context of day-to-day
management or supervisory decisions, including those involving work
assignments, job evaluations, workplace inspections, implementation of
appropriate dress codes and disciplinary action. These actions are not harassment, even if
unpleasant consequences are involved.
Managerial will be carried out in a manner that is reasonable and not
The Administrative Procedure also does not
extend to harassment that arises out of matters or circumstances unrelated to
the worker’s employment. For example, harassment that occurs during a social
gathering of co-workers that is not sponsored by the employer is not covered.
However, harassment that occurs while attending a conference or training
session at the request of the employer is covered within this Administrative
Other situations that do not constitute
Physical contact necessary for the
performance of the work using accepted industry standards;
Conduct which all parties agree is
inoffensive or welcome; or
Conflict or disagreements in the workplace,
where the conflict or disagreement is not based on one of the Prohibited
For the purpose of this Procedure,
“violence” shall mean the threatened, attempted or actual conduct of a person
that causes physical injury or gives a worker reasonable cause to believe that
the worker is at risk of injury, whether at the work site or other work-related
Acts of violence can take the form of
physical contact, such as pushing, hitting, pinching or biting. The threat of violence, either overt or
covert, can be just as detrimental and damaging as the physical act of violence
itself. Abuse in any form erodes the
mutual trust and confidence that are essential to Horizon School Division’s
operational effectiveness. Acts of
violence destroy individual dignity, lower morale, engender fear, and break
down work unit cohesiveness.
Acts of violence may occur as a single
event or may involve a continuing series of incidents. Violence can victimize both men and women,
and may be directed by or towards employees, volunteers, contractors, visitors,
and members of the public.
Every employee has the right to file a
violence and/or harassment complaint and to have their complaint acted
upon. Nothing in the procedure shall
discourage or prevent an employee from referring a complaint to the STF, the
Occupational Health and Safety Division pursuant to The Saskatchewan Employment
Act, initiating a human rights complaint respecting discriminatory practices
under The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, or exercising any other legal rights
available under any other law.
The Division is committed to providing
support to victims of violence and/or harassment, which shall include but is
not limited to, referral to the Division’s confidential EAP services. Employees who are victims of workplace
violence in particular are encouraged to consult his or her physician for
treatment or referral to other post-incident counselling.
All complaints will be dealt with in the
strictest of confidence.
The Division will not disclose the name of
the complainant or the alleged offender or the circumstances related to the
complaint to any person except where disclosure is necessary for the purposes
of investigating the complaint or taking corrective or disciplinary action with
respect to the complaint, or as required by law.
The Division commits to take action to
prevent reprisal against persons who make a complaint in good faith, which may
mean informing complainants and alleged offenders of this commitment.
4. Employee’s Responsibility
In accordance with The Saskatchewan
Employment Act, all workers employed by the Division shall refrain from causing
or participating in the discrimination or harassment of another worker,
including volunteers and contractors, or any student, or perpetrating workplace
violence, and shall co-operate with any person investigating complaints.
There is zero tolerance for workplace
harassment or violence, and the Division may take action against any employee
whose activities are in violation of the law or this Administrative
Procedure. These actions may include:
Disciplinary actions for employees in
accordance with the applicable Collective Agreement or Working Conditions, up
to and including termination of employment; or
Legal action that could result in criminal
or civil proceedings.
An employee, who believes that he/she has
been subject to behavior that violates this Administrative Procedure, should
immediately inform the individual and ask them to stop their behavior. This first step is very important so that the
alleged offender is immediately made aware that their conduct is offensive to
the victim and must stop. If the
behavior should continue, or be of a significant nature, the employee should
report their concern/complaint immediately.
If an employee cannot confront the offender or if the
violence/harassment continues, the employee should promptly report the conduct.
Any person who has been the subject of
violence/harassment has the right to access assistance in communicating their
objections and, if warranted, in pursuing the complaint more formally. It is recognized that the issue of access to recourse
is particularly critical where the alleged offender is in a position of
authority over the victim or where there are other communication barriers.
The victim is required to carefully record
the details of the incident, including the date and time, nature of the
incident, and the names of any persons who may have witnessed the incident.
Allegations of discrimination, harassment
or violence may be resolved using informal and/or formal procedures as
An individual reports an incident or
concern to their supervisor or a designated Union or Association representative
(if covered by a Collective Agreement or Working Conditions,
The person receiving the complaint reviews
the complaint and reports to Human Resources. Human Resources is responsible for all concerns/complaints and will assess whether
the nature of the complaints falls within this Procedure. Where it is alleged that the supervisor is
involved in the complaint, the individual reports the complaint to Human Resources. Human Resources (or designate) may meet privately with the alleged
offender to review the complaint and determine whether there is an agreement on
a resolution or a resolution process.
If Human Resources is the
subject of the complaint, the individual reports the complaint directly to the
Director of Education.
If the Director of Education is the subject
of the complaint, the individual reports the complaint directly to the Board
Chair who will expeditiously report to the entire Board of Education. The Board may appoint a third party to
investigate the complaint, and that person will investigate following the
If an elected official of the Board of
Education is the subject of the complaint, the individual reports the complaint
directly to the Board Chair of the Board of Education.
If the elected official is the Board Chair
of the Board of Education and is the subject of the complaint, the individual
reports the complaint directly to the Vice-Chair of the Board of Education.
6.1. Informal - Resolution Sought
Depending on the nature of the allegations,
the employee may request or Human Resources may recommend an
informal resolution process. The
informal process focuses on resolving the problem as opposed to determining
right or wrong or taking disciplinary action.
This type of resolution may include, but is not limited to, an apology,
consultation, counseling, problem solving or mediation.
Should the result of an informal approach
be unsatisfactory to the complainant, then the complainant may initiate a
6.2. Formal Complaint – Investigation Required
An individual will report an incident or
concern to their supervisor or a designated Union or Association representative
(if covered by a Collective Agreement).
The complaint should be recorded in writing on AP 410-1 (Harassment
Complaint Form) including the following information:
Name and job title of the complainant and
Name of the alleged offender;
Description of the conduct, display or
events considered objectionable, including dates and location of events;
Names and available contact information of
any possible witnesses;
Description of the bases of the complaint;
Any other information or material the
complainant considers relevant;
Signature of the complainant.
Human Resources is
Discussing the allegations or concerns
raised by the individual and options available for addressing the concerns;
Determining if immediate intervention is
required to stop ongoing harassment or reprisal;
Coordinating the gathering of any available
information relevant to the concerns raised;
Investigating & Reporting.
Where an investigation is required, Human Resources appoints an investigator or investigation team,
which may include:
Contracting out the investigation to a
Appointment of an out-of-scope staff member;
The Superintendent of Human Resources;
- The Director of Education.
The selected investigator(s) will have no
apparent bias or interest in the outcome of the investigation.
Where the complainant or the alleged
offender objects to the appointment of an investigator, on the basis or bias or
conflict of interest, Human Resources will appoint another
Prior to starting the investigation, Human Resources will:
- notify the alleged offender of the
complaint and provide the alleged offender with information concerning the
circumstances of the complaint. This
does not necessarily mean that in all circumstances the alleged offender will
receive a copy of the formal complaint, but will, at a minimum, receive an adequate
summary of the complaint to permit a full response to the allegations; and
- request the alleged offender to respond in
writing to the complaint.
Investigators will use the following
The investigation commences as soon as
Only those individuals absolutely necessary
to verifying the complaint will be interviewed in order to maintain the
confidentiality of the complainant and the offender to the greatest extent
Both the complainant and the accused will
be interviewed and the accused will be advised of the allegations they face,
including the identity of the complainant, and provided with an opportunity to
answer the same;
Witnesses are interviewed separately and
written witness statement are prepared;
Witnesses are asked to review and sign
their written statements;
Witnesses are asked to keep the
investigation and the identity of the complainant and alleged harasser in total
confidence, unless they are required to disclose them by law;
The complainant and alleged offender are
entitled to be accompanied by legal counsel, STF representative, union
representation or any other person of their choice during the interview and
- The safety of the complainant will be a
paramount consideration through the investigation process.
Once the investigation is complete, the
complainant and alleged offender will receive in writing the results of the
investigation. This will include a
summary of the evidence, a description of any conflict in the evidence, the
conclusions reached by the investigator(s) on the facts and reasons for
reaching those conclusions, as well as the recommended corrective action where
discrimination, harassment or violence has been found to have occurred. All records relating to the complaint and
investigation will remain strictly confidential and be kept on file at the
7. Disciplinary and/or Corrective Action
Following the investigation process,
Horizon School Division will determine whether or not the complaint has been
substantiated. In the event that the
complaint is not substantiated, the complainant and the alleged offender will
both be advised and the complaint is dismissed, including a removal from the
alleged offender’s record of any reference to the complaint. Consideration will be given to whether or not
the complaint was made with malicious intent and what recourse should flow in
the event that this conclusion is reached.
If determined that an employee violated
this policy, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, which may include,
reprimand, relocation, demotion, suspension or termination of employment. Corrective action such as apology, training,
or referral to EAP for counselling may also be required.
The severity of the discipline will depend
on the following:
Seriousness of the Alleged Conduct
- Whether the conduct is an offence under The
- Whether the conduct is an offence under The
Saskatchewan Employment Act or The Saskatchewan Human Right Code;
- The extent of the mental or physical injury
caused to the complainant by the conduct;
- Whether the offender persisted in behavior
that was known to be offensive to the complainant;
- The offender’s role in the organization;
- Whether the offender abused a position of
Risk of the Offender Continuing with
- Whether the offender acknowledges that the
conduct was unacceptable and makes a commitment to refrain from participating
in future misconduct;
- Whether the offender has apologized to the
complainant or taken action to repair any harm cause by the conduct;
- Whether the offender has agreed to
participate in awareness sessions, training or other recommended counselling or
8. Retaliation or Malicious Complaints
No individual filing a complaint will be
penalized or subjected to any prejudicial treatment as a result of making a
complaint. Acts of retaliation including
threats, intimidation, reprisals or adverse employment action against a person
who filed a complaint or participated in any manner in an investigation of
discrimination, harassment or violence.
Sanctions may be imposed for any such retaliation.
It is uncommon for someone to make a false
claim deliberately, but it can happen.
When an investigation finds a complainant has knowingly made a false allegation,
the complainant will be subject to the appropriate discipline, up to and
including termination for just cause.
9. Third-Party Offenders
This Administrative Procedure covers
harassment and violence connected to any matter or circumstance arising out of
the worker’s employment. Parents,
volunteers, visitors, contractors or their workers and others invited to the
workplace could engage or participate in violent behavior or harassment of an
employee. Horizon School Division may
have limited ability to investigate or control their conduct. However, Horizon
School Division shall take reasonably practicable action to stop or reduce the
risk to its workers of being harassed or subjected to violence by third
This action may include:
- requiring certain contractors and their
workers to accept and meet the terms of the harassment Administrative
workers who participate in
harassment or violence from the workplace.
Where an individual has been asked to stop
abusing or harassing a worker and does not, workers are authorized to end
telephone conversations, politely decline service, and/or to ask the individual
to leave the workplace.
The Division will provide training to its
employees which will include a review and explanation of this Procedure, as
well as a description of the Division’s expectations of employees relative to
their behaviour in the workplace. This
training will include the following:
How to recognize workplace violence/
Procedures and work practices developed to
minimize or eliminate risks of violence or harassment;
response to incidents of violence/ harassment, including how to obtain
procedures for reporting, investigating and documenting incidents of workplace
violence/ harassment pursuant to this Procedure.
85, 87, 108, 109, 175 The Education Act
Saskatchewan Employment Act
Saskatchewan Human Rights Code Act
Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Code of Ethics
March 7, 2017