Anti-Harassment/Anti-Discrimination Policy

Global philosophy statement:

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing a work environment that is free from any unlawful harassment or discrimination.

Chamber policy prohibits harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran or military status, physical or mental disability, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions), gender, gender identification, gender expression or, any other basis protected by law.

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce also recognizes ‘sexual’ harassment under the same policy. Sexual harassment means unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly. Prohibited conduct includes: unwelcome sexual advances, leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments, sexual jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossiping regarding one’s sex life, display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures or electronic images, sexual discussion, and unwanted touching or flirtation.

Forms of Harassment and Discrimination

Harassment and discrimination are considered to be unwelcome verbal, physical, written, visual, personally offensive, or any other form of harassment or discrimination that acts to prevent the harassed or discriminated employee/worker from performing his or her duties, is unwanted or unsolicited by the employee/worker, serves to threaten or intimidate the employee/worker, impairs morale, and/or produces a hostile, intimidating or offensive work environment.

Unlawful harassment or discrimination of employees/workers by other employees/workers will not be tolerated.

Reporting Procedure

An employee or worker who feels that he/she has been the subject of unlawful harassment or discrimination is advised to take the following action:

  1. Make it clear to the offending person that the behavior is unwanted and/or offensive. If this would present a physical danger or undue suffering for the employee/worker, then notification of the Chamber President, Executive Vice President or Officers of the Board of Directors is required immediately. The Chamber President, Executive Vice President and Officers of the Board of Directors are all available to receive a complaint of harassment or discrimination.
  2. Immediately bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate Chamber President, the Executive Vice President or the Officers of the Board of Directors. Employees/workers are not required to report harassment/discrimination to their immediate supervisors.

Complaints of unlawful harassment or discrimination will be promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigated. Reasonable efforts will be made to maintain confidentiality and the dignity of all parties involved. After the initial conversation with the Chamber President, the Executive Vice President or the Officers of the Board of Directors, the employee/worker may be asked to document their complaint.

All parties have the responsibility of maintaining the dignity and confidentiality of anyone concerned before, during, and after any formal investigation.

Oakville Chamber of Commerce Response

If the Oakville Chamber of Commerce determines that unlawful discrimination or harassment has occurred, appropriate action will be taken commensurate with the severity of the offense. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any future discrimination or harassment. The Chamber President oversees enforcement of the equal employment opportunity and unlawful discrimination and harassment policies and can answer any questions or concerns regarding these policies.

In the event that the Oakville Chamber of Commerce reasonably believes that inappropriate sexual behavior and/or discrimination has occurred, appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken. Such disciplinary action may include immediate termination of employment for cause.

Retaliation

Retaliation against any employee/worker for having opposed what he/she reasonably believes to be unlawful harassment or discrimination, or for having filed a complaint, participating in an investigation/hearing, testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in any investigation, or other proceeding concerning the same is strictly prohibited.

Prohibited retaliation includes, but is not limited to termination, demotion, suspension, failure to make employment recommendations impartially, adversely affecting working conditions, or otherwise denying any employment benefit. Any employee/worker who retaliates against any other employee/worker will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination of employment for cause.

Anti-Violence

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing a workplace that is free of violence. Consistent with this policy, acts or threats of physical violence, including intimidation, harassment, bullying, and/or coercion, which involve or affect the Oakville Chamber of Commerce or which occur on The Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s property will not be tolerated.

Acts or threats of violence include conduct which is sufficiently severe, offensive, or intimidating to alter the employment conditions at The Oakville Chamber Of Commerce or to create a hostile, abusive, or intimidating work environment for one or more of the Oakville Chamber Of Commerce employees/workers. Examples of workplace violence include, but are not limited to the following:

  • All threats or acts of violence occurring on the Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s premises, regardless of the relationship between the Oakville Chamber of Commerce and the parties involved in the incident.
  • All threats or acts of violence occurring off Chamber premises involving someone who is acting in the capacity of a Chamber representative.
  • All threats or acts of violence occurring off Chamber premises involving an employee/worker of The Oakville Chamber of Commerce if the threats or acts affect the legitimate interests of the Chamber.
  • Any acts or threats resulting in the conviction of an employee or agent of the Chamber, or individual performing services for the Chamber on a contract or temporary basis, under any criminal code provision relating to violence or threats of violence which adversely affect the legitimate interests and goals of The Oakville Chamber Of Commerce.

Specific examples of conduct, which may be considered threats or acts of violence, include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Hitting or pushing an individual.
  • Threatening an individual or their family, friends, co-workers, or property with harm.
  • The intentional destruction or threat of destruction of Chamber or personal property.
  • Harassing or threatening phone calls or written threats of harassment.
  • Veiled threats of physical harm or similar intimidation.
  • Harassing surveillance or stalking.
  • The serious suggestion or intimation that violence is appropriate.
  • Unauthorized possession or use of firearms or weapons.

The Chamber’s prohibition against threats and acts of violence applies to all persons involved in the Chamber’s operation, including but not limited to the Oakville Chamber of Commerce personnel, contractors, and temporary workers, and anyone else on the Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s property. Violations of this policy by any individual on the Oakville Chamber of Commerce property, by any individual acting as a representative of The Oakville Chamber of Commerce while off the Oakville Chamber of Commerce property, or by any individual acting off of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce property when their actions affect the Chamber’s business interests will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination for cause.


Reporting

Every employee and every person on the Oakville Chamber of Commerce property is encouraged to report incidents of bullying, threats, or acts of physical violence of which they are aware. If an employee is threatened, bullied, the victim of a violent act in the workplace, or if an employee observes behavior that is violent, or potentially violent, he/she should immediately remove themselves from the situation and notify the Chamber President, the Executive Vice President or Officers of the Board of Directors, and/or the employee’s immediate leader.


Enforcement

Any person who engages in a threat or violent action on Chamber property may be removed from the premises as quickly as safety permits and may be required, at the Chamber’s discretion, to remain off Chamber premises pending the outcome of an investigation of the incident.

Once a threat or act of violence has been substantiated, the Chamber will determine the appropriate response. Under this policy, decisions may be needed to prevent a threat from being carried out, a violent act from occurring, or a life-threatening situation from developing. No existing policy or procedure of the Chamber should be interpreted in a manner that prevents the making of these necessary decisions.

Retaliation

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s policy prohibits retaliation against any employee/worker by another employee/worker or by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce for reporting an incident or threat under this policy. Prohibited retaliation includes, but is not limited to termination, demotion, suspension, bullying, failure to make employment recommendations impartially, adversely affecting working conditions, or otherwise denying any employment benefit.