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A policy to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation is a document used by employers to describe their specific policy regarding prohibited behaviour in the workplace. Today, it is an extremely important document for any employer. Lately, the cases of discrimination, harassment or retaliation have been increased in the workplace and employers are now aware of the need for a comprehensive policy that will protect their employees.
These types of policies can be very straightforward, meaning that they do not vary much from one organization to another, as provincial and federal laws are often very similar in terms of the definition of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. All employers must protect their employees from this type of behaviour.
Sometimes a policy such as this one may be included in another employment document, such as an employee handbook or employment contract. However, it is generally recommended to have it as a separate document, so that it can be much more explicit than a manual or other employment contract.
This policy will cover all common situations faced by an employer.
How to use this document ?
This document is fairly simple. It requires only easily accessible information, such as company identification information and a few other basic questions about the company's internal policy. As mentioned previously, the reason why more information is not requested is that these documents tend to be identical from one organization to another and do not need to be modified. In fact, the variance between such policies is generally unwise, as common situations of inappropriate behaviour in this context may be omitted.
When this policy is completed, it should be duly communicated to employees. In fact, it is recommended to check with an attorney for specific notification requirements.
In Canada, there should be no discrimination, harassment or retaliation against anyone who works for an organization. For these reasons, employers have the obligation to take appropriate action against any employee who discriminates or harasses someone. Implemented a good policy is one of them. Employers can be held responsible for harassment committed by their employees if they don't act against it.
Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, employers are required to ensure that all employees affected by the company are treated equally, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation or any of the other grounds of discrimination listed in the law.
The Canadian human rights commission explains the employers and employees obligation regarding discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
Every province and territory in Canada has its own Employment Standards. For further information, it is possible to contact the relevant Employment Standards Branch in the province or territory the company for which this document is written.
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