Discrimination & Harassment Prevention Policy

Approved by the Board of Directors on July 23, 2002
Approved by the General Membership on September 17, 2002

 Article 1:            Principles

The members of Windmill Line Co-operative are committed to:

(a)          Zero tolerance of discrimination and harassment.

(b)          Alternative dispute resolution processes.

(c)          Resolution of discrimination and harassment as soon as possible.

All aspects of discrimination and harassment prevention processes will be fair, responsive, timely, confidential, impartial, consistently applied and will aim to preserve the dignity, self-respect and rights of all parties.

Responses to discrimination and harassment will aim to correct identified problems and to prevent repeated violations of this policy.

Article 2:             Definition of Discrimination and Harassment

We, at Windmill Line Co-operative Homes Inc., adhere to the Ontario Human Rights Code which provides that every person has a right to freedom from discrimination because of race, ancestry, citizenship, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, creed, sexual identity, age, marital status, family status, physical ability, language ability and receipt of public assistance. Windmill Line Co¬operative also recognizes discrimination based on mental illness, people affected by medical conditions including HIV/Aids and Environmental Sensitivity, also culture, religious beliefs and economic status. Discrimination includes, but is not limited to unequal treatment based on one or more of the prohibited grounds.

Harassment is an unwelcome action, whether verbal or physical, on a single or repeated basis that denies individual dignity and respect, which humiliates, insults or degrades. Such acts may be subtle or overt with or without intention; they are always offensive and demeaning. Unwelcome means any action, which the harasser knows or ought reasonably to know, is not desired by the victim.

Discrimination and harassment are expressions of power or perceived power and superiority. It is intended that this policy send a clear message to harassers that their actions will not be tolerated and to empower victims.

Article 3:       Examples of Harassment

  • Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes, taunting about a person's body, dress, speech, accent, race or place of origin, ancestry, colour or sexual identity.
  • Displays of cartoons, pictures or other materials that are offensive based on oppression listed in document.
  • Inappropriate or insulting gestures.
  • Refusal to work or share facilities with another member because of race, place of origin, colour, ancestry, sexual identity.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention from another member or guest.
  • False accusations of harassment made in bad faith against another member.

Article 4: Prevention, Communication, and Education

(a)          Members and staff of Windmill Line Co-operative must not be subjected to offensive remarks or behaviour.

(b)          The Board of Directors must undertake preventative measures, especially communicating with all members about the policy and the general effect of discrimination and harassment.

(c)          Each member must be informed of his or her rights and responsibilities under the policy.

(d)          Members and staff are encouraged, where possible, to tell alleged offenders about unwelcome conduct or actions perceived to be discriminatory.

While members and staff cannot be required to report experiences of discrimination or harassment, they are encouraged to follow procedures outlined in the Member Relations By-law.

(e)          Where a possible violation of the policy is to be addressed by formal mediation, the mediator must have expertise in human rights, as well as mediation. Outside mediator(s) are mandatory.

Article 5:             All Members and Staff are Responsible For:

Refraining from discrimination and harassment, including offensive remarks or other actions that create intimidating, hostile or humiliating conditions based on the prohibited grounds of this policy.

Article 6:         Definitions

Alternate Dispute Resolution: Alternate resolution refers to a range of methods, such as mediation, that are alternatives to formal investigation. Parties may negotiate a resolution by themselves or with a neutral person who can help them reach a mutually acceptable solution that satisfies their respective needs or interests.

Discrimination: Includes, but is not limited to, unequal treatment based on one or more of the prohibited grounds.

Harassment: A course of vexatious comment or conduct (based on one or more of the prohibited grounds), that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Where a single such event appears to create a poisoned community living environment, it is also considered a violation of this policy.

Investigation: A fact-finding process of determining whether this policy has been violated.

Poisoned Living Environment: An infringement of every person’s right to equal treatment with respect to the community living environment within the Windmill Line Co-op, which refers to comments, behaviour or ridicules, belittles or degrades people or groups identified by one or more prohibited grounds of this policy. A poisoned living environment could result from a serious and single even, remark or action and need not be directed at a particular individual

Sexual Harassment: When a member or staff person receives unwelcome sexual attention from another member or guest and such comment or behaviour is known or should reasonably be known to be unwelcome.

Living Restoration: Promoting and/or restoring positive and respectful Co-operative community living relationships.

Zero Tolerance: Discrimination or harassment will not be tolerated and response will be quick and appropriate to such allegations. Zero tolerance means that all necessary steps will be taken to make Windmill Line Co-operative free of discrimination and harassment.