Human Rights Policy
The Culinary Arts School of Ontario
The purpose of this policy is to recognize the dignity and worth of every person and the fact that every person is entitled to equal rights and opportunities without discrimination at The Culinary Arts School of Ontario (“Chef School”). The ultimate goal is to create an environment of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of every person, so that each person feels part of and able to contribute to the community.
Chef School is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment, where all individuals are treated with utmost respect and dignity, can contribute fully and have equal opportunities.
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 (“Code”), every person has the right to be free from harassment and discrimination. Harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated, condoned or ignored at Chef School. If a claim of harassment or discrimination is proven, disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including termination of employment.
Chef School is committed to an inclusive strategy to address harassment and discrimination, including, but not limited to:
- Providing regular monitoring of organizational systems for barriers relating to Code grounds (including equal hiring opportunities);
- Providing an effective and fair complaints procedure; and
- Providing and promoting appropriate standards of conduct and professionalism at all times.
The objectives of this policy are to:
Ensure that all team members at Chef School are aware of types of behaviour that may be considered offensive and are prohibited by this policy. This includes any measure of harassment and discrimination. Any such acts are unacceptable and are incompatible with Chef School’s standards, as well as contrary to the Code.
Every person is protected against harassment and discrimination by co-workers, management, superiors, and any other team members – and is also protected from the actions of others who enter the workplace, such as suppliers or patrons.
Protection against harassment and discrimination also extends:
- While off the work site, or outside of normal working hours, where activities are connected to the workplace; and
- While offering services to the public, which includes dealings with customers, potential customers and business associates (i.e. suppliers).
Chef School will enforce this policy using its best and reasonable efforts to prevent discrimination and/or harassing behaviour(s) and will intervene immediately if a problem is observed or reported.
The Code protects and prohibits discrimination or harassment based on the following grounds, and any combination of these grounds:
- Creed (religion);
- Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding);
- Sexual orientation;
- Gender identity;
- Gender expression;
- Family status (such as being in a parent-child relationship);
- Marital status (including married, single, widowed, divorced, separated or living in a conjugal relationship outside of marriage, whether in a same-sex or opposite-sex relationship);
- Disability (including mental, physical, developmental or learning disabilities);
- Place of origin;
- Ethnic origin;
- Record of offences (criminal conviction for a provincial offence, or for an offence for which a pardon has been received);
- Association or relationship with a person identified by one of the above grounds; and
- Perception that one of the above grounds applies.
In relation to any specific Code ground, there can be common manifestations. These are outlined below:
Racism is an ideology that directly or indirectly focuses on one group that is inherently superior to another. Racial jokes and slurs or hate crimes are displays of racism. One’s attitudes, values and stereotypical beliefs can also be deeply rooted in racism. At times, these are unconsciously held and have become embedded in systems and institutions that have evolved throughout time. Racism can operate at a number of levels: individual, systemic and societal.
Any form of unequal treatment based on a Code ground, whether imposing extra burdens or denying benefits. It may be intentional or unintentional. It may involve direct actions that are discriminatory on their face, or it may involve rules, practices or procedures that appear neutral, but disadvantage certain groups of people. Discrimination may take obvious forms, or it may happen in very subtle ways. Even if there are many factors affecting a decision or action, if discrimination is one factor, that event is a violation of this Policy.
Harassment includes a course of comments or actions that are known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome. It can involve words or actions that are known or should be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning or unwelcome, based on a ground of discrimination identified by this Policy. Harassment can occur based on any of the grounds of discrimination.
Examples of harassment include:
- Epithets, remarks, jokes or innuendos related to a person’s race, gender identity, gender expression, sex, disability, sexual orientation, creed, age, or any other ground;
- Posting or circulating offensive pictures, graffiti or materials, whether in print form, e-mail, social media, or any other form;
- Singling out a person for humiliating or demeaning “teasing” or jokes because they are a member of a Code-protected group; and
- Comments ridiculing a person because of characteristics that are related to a ground of discrimination. For example, this could include comments about a person’s dress, speech or other practices that may be related to their sex, race, gender identity or creed.
In any case, regardless, if a person does not explicitly object to a harassing behaviour, or appears to be going along with it, this does not mean that the behaviour is acceptable. The behaviour could still be considered harassment under the Code.
Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of harassment that can include:
- Gender-related comments about a person’s physical characteristics or mannerisms;
- Paternalism based on gender which a person feels undermines his or her self respect or position of responsibility;
- Unwelcome physical contact;
- Suggestive or offensive remarks or innuendoes about members of a specific gender;
- Propositions of physical intimacy;
- Gender-related verbal abuse, threats or taunting;
- Inappropriate staring;
- Bragging about sexual aptitude or questions or discussions about sexual activities;
- Offensive jokes or comments of a sexual nature about an employee or client;
- Rough and vulgar humour or language related to gender;
- Display of sexually offensive pictures, graffiti or other materials including through electronic means; and
- Demands for dates or sexual favours.
This policy prohibits sexual solicitation or advances by any person who is in a position to grant or deny a benefit to the recipient of the solicitation or advance. This includes co-workers, co-op students, interns, volunteers, or any person involved in the work environment, where one person is in a position to grant or deny a benefit to the other. Reprisals for rejecting such advances or solicitations are also not allowed.
A poisoned environment is created through comments and/or conduct (including comments or conduct that are condoned or allowed to continue when brought to the attention of management) that create a discriminatory work environment. The comments or conduct need not be directed at a specific person, and may be from any person, regardless of position or status. A single comment or action, if sufficiently serious, may create a poisoned environment.
Workplace violence refers to the exercise of physical force against an individual in the workplace that causes, or could cause, physical injury. It also includes:
- An attempt to exercise physical force against an individual in the workplace that could cause physical injury; and
- A statement of behaviour that an individual could reasonably interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the individual in the workplace that could cause physical injury to the individual.
Roles and Responsibilities
All persons present at Chef School are expected to uphold and abide by this policy, through refraining from any form of harassment or discrimination, and by cooperating fully in any investigation of a harassment or discrimination complaint.
All persons have the responsibility to act immediately on observations or allegations of harassment or discrimination. Through working together as a team, (i.e. employer- employee relationship, employee-client relationship, corporation-supplier relationship etc.) it is our responsibility to create and maintain a harassment-and discrimination-free organization, workplace and overall environment. It is our responsibility to address potential problems before they become serious.
The objective of Chef School’s complaint resolution mechanism is to ensure human rights issues are brought to the attention of the organization and are appropriately dealt with. All complaints will be taken seriously, acted promptly upon, and will be handled using a procedure that creates and maintains a healthy environment. All decisions and actions taken will be communicated to the parties. All complaints may be addressed in person and, to the extent consistent with a proper investigation, in confidence with management.
Human Rights Officer
A Human Rights Officer shall be appointed to provide regular information and support regarding human rights issues and concerns, update the Human Rights Policy periodically in accordance with laws and regulations in force and ensure the organization’s compliance with the Human Rights Policy.
Human rights grievances raised by all team members, customers and/or external parties should be communicated to the Human Rights Officer, in writing, either delivered personally or via email to Chelsea Scott. The Human Rights Officer will take such measures as are necessary to investigate the complaint in a fair and impartial manner and, where the complaint is substantiated, take appropriate action to address the behaviour complained of, including disciplinary action, up to and including the termination of employment. As part of this investigation, the Human Rights Officer may interview other employees and potential witnesses. The type of investigation undertaken may vary depending on the nature and complexity of the complaint. Chef School may, in its sole discretion, retain a third-party investigator to conduct or assist in the investigation. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Human Rights Officer shall promptly communicate the result of the investigation to the complainant, in writing.
Where the complainant is dissatisfied with the result of the Human Rights Officer’s investigation, or where the complaint concerns the Human Rights Officer, the complainant may raise the issue to the attention of the President of Chef School, David Buchanan, in writing, delivered personally or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In investigating the matter, Mr. Buchanan may rely upon the notes and records collated by the Human Rights Officer in the course of the initial investigation and shall not be required to re-interview witnesses. Upon completion of his review of the investigation, Mr. Buchanan shall promptly inform the complainant of its result.
In any situation involving discrimination, harassment or violence, the complainant must report the matter to management in the manner detailed above. However, the complainant may, where the situation warrants, also pursue alternative procedures including reporting the issue to the police and filing an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Similarly, where deemed appropriate by the Human Rights Officer and management, Chef School may report the matter to the police and/or take legal action.
To the extent possible, Chef School will treat complaints received and the investigation of these complaints as confidential. However, Chef School cannot guarantee that the complainant’s identity will remain confidential from the individual alleged to have breached this Policy. Nonetheless, with the exception of those individuals whose participation is required to properly investigate and address the complaint, all information pertaining to the complaint and its investigation will remain confidential unless disclosure is required by law.
All employees interviewed in connection with an investigation are expected to maintain the confidentiality of the investigation. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
Anyone who reports a violation of this Policy shall be protected from retaliation or reprisal. Retaliation or reprisals constitute a breach of this Policy and shall result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.