Harassment and discrimination
Definition of “harassment”
At the University of Ottawa, the definition of “harassment” includes sexual and workplace harassment. Unionized employees should refer to their collective agreement for more information.
The proposed definitions of “harassment,” “sexual harassment” and “workplace harassment” are as follows:
Harassment means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. A single incident, if it is sufficiently serious, may constitute harassment. Harassment includes comments or conduct that intimidates, humiliates, undermines or dominates the other person by belittling, embarrassing or demeaning that person, or that involves the use of abusive or threatening language.
Sexual harassment is included in the scope of this Policy and means
(a) unwanted sexual attention from a person who knows or ought reasonably to know that such attention is unwanted;
(b) an implied or expressed promise of reward for complying with a sexually oriented request;
(c) an implied or expressed threat of reprisal or actual reprisal for refusing to comply with a sexually oriented request;
(d) a sexual relationship that constitutes an abuse of power in a relationship of authority; or
(e) a sexually oriented comment or behaviour that may reasonably be perceived to create a negative psychological and emotional environment for work or study (a poisoned environment).
Workplace harassment is included in the scope of this Policy and means 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. Workplace harassment does not include legitimate performance management of an employee.
Laws and regulations
The University has more than one harassment policy. However, all existing harassment policies and procedures are currently under review, and consultation s with various stakeholders, such as unions and management , were initiated this summer on changes required as a result of Bill 168 and changes required to align the university’s processes with collective agreements. A draft of a new policy on workplace violence prevention has also been developed
For administrative purposes, proposed policies are posted on the university’s website during the consultation period. If you are unionized, your union will also have a copy available.
Need to talk or file a complaint?
A trained professional will be available at either resource centre to provide guidance and lend an ear in a highly confidential and professional environment. Harassment and discrimination complaints are treated confidentially under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. When a complaint is filed, an internal investigation is launched as set out in the complainant’s collective agreement or the resource centre’s procedures.
Nothing will happen to you if you consult a resource centre, and then decide not to file a complaint or pursue the matter.