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District School Board of Niagara
Policy Human Resources - General

E-15 Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention

Date Jun 2016
Review Jun 2017

The District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) is committed to the prevention of workplace violence and harassment and to ensure the health and safety and dignity of all employees and workers in its workplace. Any threats or acts of violence or harassment by or against employees or workers or the public are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. This includes situations where an employee may be exposed to domestic violence while at work. The DSBN will take steps required to protect their workers from workplace violence from all sources. To better understand workplace violence and workplace harassment, the definitions are listed below:

Workplace violence:

  1. Is the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker.
  2. Is an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.
  3. Is a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.

Workplace harassment:

  1. engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or
  2. workplace sexual harassment.

Workplace sexual harassment:

  1. engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or
  2. making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.

This policy is not intended to limit or constrain the reasonable exercise of management functions in the workplace. Reasonable action or conduct by an employer, manager or supervisor that is part of his or her normal work function would not normally be considered workplace harassment.

This policy recognizes that workplace violence and harassment may occur between co-workers, workers and members of the school community and workers and strangers. This policy applies to all workplace activities that occur both at and away from the workplace. Every individual at DSBN has responsibilities to ensure a healthy, safe and respectful work environment. Everyone is expected to uphold this policy and to work together to prevent workplace violence and harassment.

There is a workplace violence prevention administrative procedure and a workplace harassment prevention administrative procedure that implements this policy. It includes written measures and procedures to eliminate and/or reduce the risk of workplace violence and harassment.

The DSBN will ensure this policy and the supporting programs are implemented and maintained and that workers and supervisors have the appropriate information and instruction to protect them from violence and harassment in the workplace.

All workers will adhere to this policy and the supporting programs. School Administrator(s)/Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that measures and procedures are followed by workers and that workers have the appropriate information they need to protect themselves.

Every worker must work in compliance with this policy and the supporting program. All workers are encouraged to raise any concerns about workplace violence and harassment and to report any violent incidents, threats of violence and workplace harassment as defined above immediately.

The DSBN will investigate and deal with all incidents and complaints of workplace violence and harassment in a fair and timely manner, respecting the privacy of all concerned as much as possible.

Student to Staff

Harassment and risks of workplace violence that may arise because of student behavior towards employees and workers will be dealt with under the Safe Schools legislation.

This policy must be reviewed at least annually.

References

  • Administrative Procedure 5-26: Workplace Harassment Prevention
  • Administrative Procedure 5-27: Workplace Violence Prevention