Harassment Policy and Resolution – Mandatory Reading


VOLUNTEER HARASSMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE

As stated in the RBC Bluesfest and CityFolk Volunteer Code of Conduct, as part of our zero tolerance policy, harassment in any form will not be tolerated, and can lead to dismissal from the festival. Any person who feels that he or she has experienced harassment, including violence and/or sexual harassment, while volunteering at the RBC Bluesfest or CityFolk, may take the recommended steps or file a formal complaint under this policy as soon as possible.

Volunteer Services will investigate all concerns, incidents and complaints of festival harassment, including violence and sexual harassment, in a timely and fair manner, respecting the privacy of all concerned to the extent possible.

Definition:

Harassment is a form of misconduct / improper behaviour by a volunteer that is directed at, and is offensive to, another volunteer, and which that person knew or ought reasonably to have known, would be unwelcome and cause offence or harm. It comprises objectionable conduct, comment, or display that demeans, belittles, or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any acts of intimidation or threats, which detrimentally affects individual well-being or the volunteer environment.

It includes discriminatory harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) which is to harass an individual based on the prohibited grounds of discrimination, which are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability, or conviction of an offence for which a pardon has been granted.

Complaint is a formal allegation of harassment submitted in writing to RBC Bluesfest and CityFolk – Volunteer Services by the volunteer.

The RBC Bluesfest and CityFolk festivals are committed to preventing harassment by providing all volunteers with a common understanding of appropriate and expected behaviour, by supporting initiatives to maintain a respectful festival environment, and by helping volunteers to identify and use the available resources to assist them when facing potential harassment situations.


IDENTIFYING AND RESOLVING SITUATIONS PROMPTLY, FAIRLY, AND COOPERATIVELY

Most festival conflicts can be resolved informally to the satisfaction of all parties. When a volunteer believes that he/she is experiencing a harassing situation, the volunteer should:

  • promptly make his/her unease/disapproval about a person’s actions known to the alleged offender and to co-operatively resolve the issue; or
  • inform or get advice from a supervisor, or other advisor such as a onsite staff, TOERSA security, to help address the situation and keep a positive working relationship; and
  • use of informal conflict resolution techniques when possible can help resolve the situation and prevent it from escalating to the point where filing a written complaint is necessary.

If all of the above are not successful, you may file a written complaint with Volunteer Services as soon as possible.  You may obtain the Harassment Complaint Form on the Volunteer website and submit it to Volunteer Services Management (volunteers@ottawabluesfest.ca).  Complaints must be made in good faith.

A volunteer may also file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) if the alleged harassment is related to one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

FORMAL COMPLAINTS

If you have experienced harassment you may choose to file a formal written complaint against your harasser to Volunteer Services Management (volunteers@ottawabluesfest.ca) as soon as possible.  Under these circumstances you would be informed that the alleged harasser will be provided with a copy of the complaint and with your permission you may be identified as the complainant.  You may obtain the Harassment Complaint Form on the Volunteer website, or by written request to the above email address.

Course of Action once a formal written complaint is filed:

All formal written complaints will be reviewed by an internal RBC Bluesfest or CityFolk committee to determine if an investigation is warranted.  In the case of the complaint involving a minor, the parent or guardian of the minor will be informed.

Investigative Action:

The committee and/or an investigator will:

  • determine the accuracy of as many details as possible;
  • determine (from both parties) if there were any witnesses, as well as how the complainant responded at the time of the alleged incident;
  • determine who was made aware of the alleged incident and whether anyone else is known to have reported similar behaviour by the same person; and,
  • find out what resolution the complainant would prefer.


OUTCOME ACTION

Substantiated Complaints:

If following investigation the complaint of harassment is substantiated, Volunteer Services will act promptly and fairly in taking appropriate measures, which may range from reprimand to dismissal from volunteering at RBC Bluesfest and/or CityFolk.

Written records of the complaint, investigation and any disciplinary action will be maintained in the personnel files of the parties involved in the complaint.

Unsubstantiated Complaints:

When an investigation of an allegation of harassment is unsubstantiated, all record of the complaint will be destroyed.

Frivolous/Malicious Complaints:

A volunteer who makes a frivolous complaint, malicious complaint, or a complaint in bad faith, may be subject to disciplinary measures up to, and including, reprimand or dismissal from volunteering at RBC Bluesfest and/or CityFolk.

Retaliation for Complaints:

A volunteer who retaliates against another volunteer for filing a complaint, may be subject to disciplinary measures by RBC Bluesfest up to, and including, reprimand or dismissal from volunteering at RBC Bluesfest and/or CityFolk. Additionally, any volunteer who is subjected to retaliation from another volunteer has the option of involving the authorities.

If you are in imminent physical danger, please call 911.

Click HERE to download a formal Harassment Complaint Form

Click HERE to download a print-at-home copy of RBC Bluesfest Volunteer Code of Conduct!