Respectful Workplace Policy

THE BELFRY THEATRE SOCIETY RESPECTFUL WORKPLACE POLICY

The Belfry Theatre is committed to preserving a safe, healthy and inclusive working environment based upon respect. We are committed to a workplace that fosters openness and acceptance.

With the above objective in mind, the Belfry has and will enforce procedures to investigate behaviours that are contrary to the provision of a safe and respectful work environment.

In pursuit of this goal we will neither condone nor tolerate any acts of discrimination, bullying, harassment, violence or threats. Once the Board or Staff are aware of such behaviour, an investigation will begin and all reasonable steps to protect our employees, volunteers, contractors, patrons and visitors will be taken.

We will uphold the BC Human Rights Code in protecting our workplace from discrimination based on: age, ancestry. colour, place of origin, criminal conviction (not related to employment), family status, marital status, mental or physical disability, political belief, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The Code also protects persons involved or about to be involved in a complaint against retaliation of any kind.

Protections are extended any place in the workplace. If it is an authorized activity of the Belfry, it should be considered the workplace.

In addition, we are committed to honouring and supporting the WorkSafeBC protections against bullying and harassment.

This policy applies to all Belfry staff, volunteers, Board Members, visiting artists and contractors as well as visitors and patrons. Contractors who are members of Canadian Actors Equity Association (CAEA) have the obligations and privileges, including the investigative procedures, afforded under this policy and/or the Not In Our Space joint policy of CAEA and Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT).

This policy and related procedures are not meant to stop free speech, hinder artistic freedoms in programming or program related activities, or to interfere with conventional interactions.

The policy and all related procedures are available in all work areas and can be copied or communicated to any individual.


BELFRY THEATRE RESPECTFUL WORKPLACE PROCEDURES

HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT KNOWN:

Anyone witnessing bullying, harassment or discrimination is asked to document the incident and report it to their Head of Department or the Executive Director. Staff who believe that they have experienced any form of harassment, bullying or discrimination should do the following in a timely manner:

  1. Make the issue known to a trusted third party, their Head of Department, the alleged harasser’s Head of Department, and/or the Executive Director so that one of these people is aware of the issue and may be able to approach the alleged harasser either on their own or with the complainant.
  2. If informal attempts are not appropriate or successful, a formal complaint is necessary.
  3. If the complaint is about another staff member, Board Member, Head of Department (excluding the Executive Director and the Artistic Director, bring the complaint to any Head of Department and the Executive Director.
  4. But if the complaint is about the Executive Director or Artistic Director, bring the complaint to any member of the Board.
  5. Formal complaints will be investigated immediately utilizing either internal or external investigator(s).

*NOTE: In circumstances such as sexual or physical assault, the complainant may elect to file a complaint with the police. In these circumstances no investigation will take place while an active police investigation or legal proceedings are underway.

INVESTIGATIONS:

Once the Belfry is made aware of an alleged occurrence, we have a duty to investigate whether or not a formal complaint has been made. An investigation will commence when any of the following occur:

  • An employee, contractor, or volunteer makes a complaint of harassment, discrimination or violence
  • Management or the Board of the Belfry becomes aware of harassment, discrimination or violence
  • Workplace Health and Safety incidents

The Executive Director and two other members of management will be trained to conduct internal investigations. Internal investigations will be carried by one or more of these people. In all cases of investigation, the Board will be advised that such is taking place and will receive a summary of findings and actions taken.

The Belfry will ensure accommodation of any special needs of all persons involved (i.e. documents in alternate formats, off-site, after-hours meetings, interpretation and translation.)

The Belfry will engage a qualified, professionally trained external investigator, at its sole expense, where an external investigation is warranted. In all cases against the Executive Director, Artistic Director, any authorized internal investigator, or a member of the Board of Directors, an external investigator will be used and generally when:

  • In cases of sexual harassment, or accusations that are in violation of the Human Rights Code or the law,
  • Where in the judgement of the Belfry, a high degree of liability may exist.
  • If the events occurred in private, away from the public eye and without any documentary evidence of witness
  • Where the allegations are against a number of Respondents

The external investigator will have the authority to independently schedule interviews and to make recommendations of actions to be taken.

All complaints will be handled in a confidential manner and information regarding the investigation is only to be disclosed on a need to know basis.

All interviewees in both internal and external investigations will have the opportunity to review and agree to the accuracy of the record of their respective interviews.

REPORTS

A final summary report will be completed in writing by the investigator(s) and submitted to the Executive Director or in the case of a complaint against the Executive Director or the Artistic Director, to a member of the Board of Directors and a summary of findings and recommendations will be submitted to the President and Vice President of the Board of Directors.

The full report will be maintained in a separate file space accessed only by the Executive Director and the Board but will NOT form a part of the personnel files. No documentation of unsubstantiated claims will be maintained.

CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTIONS:

The investigator may find:

  • The misconduct was established
  • No misconduct found
  • The investigation was inconclusive
  • The behaviour is not within scope
  • The complaint to be vexatious, retaliatory

If the investigation finds misconduct was established, action will be taken to remedy the situation. This may include mediation, restorative justice, sensitivity training or other educational requirements. Discipline may include: official warning and follow up monitoring, temporary suspension, termination.

In cases where the investigation is inconclusive or unfounded, the Belfry may provide conflict resolution measures for the parties.

In the case where a complaint is found to be vexatious or retaliatory, the Belfry may take disciplinary action.

Following the investigation, both parties will be advised of the outcome.

DEFINITIONS

BULLYING AND HARASSMENT:

“when someone takes an action that he or she knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that worker to be humiliated or intimidated. When an employer or supervisor takes reasonable action to manage and direct workers, it is not bullying and harassment.” (Work safe BC)

CONFIDENTIALITY:

All actions taken under this policy are to be considered confidential in nature. A complainant, a respondent or witnesses will each be afforded and will maintain the privacy of all individuals involved. An investigator will maintain the privacy of the individuals and nature of the complaint inasmuch as is reasonable and possible.

*Should legal steps be taken, the courts may subpoena the records.

COMMUNITY:

The Belfry community is comprised of employees (full time, part time and seasonal), the Board, contractors, volunteers, our patrons and other members of the public.

DISCRIMINATION:

Discrimination means unequal or biased treatment that causes harm to a person or a group of persons. Discrimination may exist even if the impact was not intended. The BC Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of: Age, Ancestry, Colour, Place of Origin, Race, Criminal Conviction, Family Status, Marital Status, Mental Disability, Physical Disability, Political Belief, Religion, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression.

INTERSECTIONALITY:

The overlap of various social identities such as, race, gender, sexuality, and class, which contributes to the specific type of systemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual or group of individuals.

REASONABLE:

“Fair, proper or moderate under the circumstances.” For a person, determining whether a person has behaved reasonably is an objective standard; the circumstances, not the intent of the person exhibiting the behavior is considered.

RETALIATION:

The BC Human Rights Code protects from retaliation for being involved in a complaint. It protects people because they:

  • Made a complaint, or might make a complaint
  • Are named in a complaint or might be named in a complaint
  • Give evidence or help in some other way in a complaint or might do so.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT:

May include but not limited to any unwelcome sexual advances (oral, written, physical or by social media), requests for sexual favours, sexual and sexist jokes, unnecessary physical touching, threats, patronizing, condescending behavior.

VIOLENCE:

This includes any intimidating action that may violate a person’s sense of safety, including the threat of physical violence through action or attitude, and any behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill something or someone.

Workplace violence does not include accidental situations, even if a worker is hurt as a result, or, staged fights or violent acts which are an element of a stage performance or their related rehearsals or warm-ups.

WORKPLACE:

The workplace is any place where an authorized activity of the Belfry is taking place. It includes but is not limited to, the physical work premises (offices, rehearsal studios, theatre, dressing rooms, green room, or production shop etc.), work related social functions (parties, fundraising events, etc.), work assignments outside the physical premises, work related travel, and work related conferences or training sessions. Regardless of location or whether the activity is paid or unpaid, if it is an authorized activity of the Belfry, it should be considered the workplace.

Posted – August 22, 2018