Workplace Harassment

Mohawk College is committed to build and preserve a positive working environment for all its employees and will ensure, as much as reasonably practical, that employees are not subjected to harassment in the workplace. The College will treat all complaints of harassment seriously and will strive to ensure they are resolved quickly, confidentially, and fairly.

“Harassment” means

  • a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome or,
  • “workplace sexual harassment”, which means             
    • engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against an employee 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
    • 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 employee and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome, or
    • taking or threatening a reprisal against an employee who has rejected a sexual solicitation or advance made by a person in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the employee.

Examples of harassment include:

  • Inappropriate or insulting remarks, gestures, jokes, innuendoes or taunting about a person based on a Protected Ground;
  • Unwanted questions or comments about an employee’s private life pertaining to a Protected Ground;
  • Unwanted questions or comments about an employee’s private life pertaining to a Protected Ground; and/or,
  • Posting, displaying materials, or the electronic publication of articles or graffiti etc., that is offensive and on the basis of a Protected Ground.
  • Remarks, jokes or innuendoes that demean, ridicule, intimidate or offend
  • Displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials in print or electronic form
  • Bullying
  • Making repeated offensive or intimidating phone calls or emails;
  • Gossiping or spreading rumours; and/or
  • Belittling an employee’s opinions
  • unwanted remarks, jokes, innuendoes or taunting about a person’s body, attire, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation;
  • unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature such as touching, kissing, patting, hugging, or pinching;
  • unwelcome inquiries or comments about a person’s sex life or sexual preference;
  • leering, whistling, or other sexually suggestive or insulting sounds;
  • posting or displaying (including electronic publication of) offensive materials of a sexual nature;
  • unsolicited sexual advances or demands for sexual favours;
  • inappropriate jokes of a sexual nature; and/or,
  • sexual assault (also an offence under the Criminal Code).

Harassment does not include reasonable action or conduct by an employer, manager or supervisor that is part of the normal job function even if there are unpleasant consequences for the employee.

Reporting and Investigating Harassment

All employees have a responsibility to report harassment if they or someone else is being harassed. There are three options for reporting harassment. Refer to the Respectful Workplace (Harassment and Discrimination) policy.

Speak to the Offender

Tell the offending person if you are comfortable doing so. Ask them to stop and document the incident.

Informal

Make a complaint if Speaking to the Offender did not stop the unwanted behaviour:

  • Students - contact the Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities
  • Employee, worker, intern or volunteer - contact your manager and/or Human Resources Consultant
  • Contractor or volunteer  -  contact a Human Resources Consultant
  • Contact the manager of the offending person, if the offender is your supervisor.

Once a complaint is made:

  • It will be investigated and Resolved - Informally or Formally
  • Informal process is preferred

Formal

A formal complaint signifies the person is requesting a formal investigation into their complaint.

To make a formal complaint, complete a “Formal Complaint Form” in writing and submit to:

  • Human Resources Consultant if the offending person is a College employee or,
  • Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities if the offending person is a student

Resources

Human Rights Legal Support Centre (opens new window) 
Human Rights Tribunal (opens new window) 
Ontario Human Rights Commission (opens new window) 
Guide to Your Rights and Responsibilities Under the Human Rights Code (opens new window) 
Guidelines on Developing Human Rights Policies and Procedures (opens new window)