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Mohawk College: A Human Rights Primer Rachel Matthews, Director- Student Services and Success Initiatives Sheila Walsh, Director- HR/Staff Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Mohawk College: A Human Rights Primer Rachel Matthews, Director- Student Services and Success Initiatives Sheila Walsh, Director- HR/Staff Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mohawk College: A Human Rights Primer Rachel Matthews, Director- Student Services and Success Initiatives Sheila Walsh, Director- HR/Staff Services

2 Human Rights Seminar Overview of College policy and procedures Understanding obligations What is and what is NOT harassment Duty to accommodate Code violations Liability Promoting a respectful working and learning environment

3 Protected (Prohibited) Grounds Ancestry Place of origin Colour Ethnic Origin Race Citizenship Creed Sex Sexual Orientation Same Sex Partnership status Age Marital Status Family Status Disability Receipt of Public Assistance Record of Offences

4 Discrimination A distinction, intentional or not Based on a characteristic or perception of one Places burdens, obligations, disadvantages Withholding or limiting access, benefits or advantages Individual or class of individuals

5 Harassment A form of discrimination A course of vexatious comment/conduct Unwelcome known, or reasonably ought to be known NOT harassment if appropriate performance counselling or disciplining

6 Harassing Behaviour Harassment is behaviour that has the intent or the effect of: creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive psychological or emotional climate for work or study undermining work/academic performance presenting or impairing full and equal enjoyment of employment/educational services, benefits and/or opportunities based on a protected ground

7 What Does Harassment Include? Harassment includes, but is not limited to: inappropriate or insulting remarks, pictures, jokes, innuendoes or taunting based on a protected ground refusing to work with you or share facilities with you, based on a protected ground unwanted questions or comments about your private life that pertain to a protected ground posting or displaying materials, articles or graffiti etc. which may cause embarrassment, humiliation etc.

8 Sexual Harassment One or a series of comments/conduct of gender related/sexual nature Unwelcome, offensive, intimidating, hostile or inappropriate –known, or –reasonably ought to be known

9 Sexually Harassing Behaviour Leering Wolf-whistles or cat-calls which cause embarrassment Degrading sexually-based nicknames such as “babe”, “stud”, “chick” Rude or suggestive remarks of a sexual nature about your sex life or sexual preference Sexually-based jokes or cartoons whether communicated in person or electronically

10 Sexually Harassing Behaviour Photographs showing men or women in sexually provocative poses Unwanted physical contact, including kissing, patting, touching, grabbing or hugging Unwelcome sexual advances, propositions, insistent requests for dates Intimidating behaviour such as blocking a person’s way or pinning them to the wall

11 Negative or Poisoned Environment Hostile, negative and/or unwelcoming Insulting or degrading comments or conduct Based on a protected ground Creating a negative influence

12 Mohawk College Mohawk College’s Human Rights Policy and Procedures purpose is to prevent harassment and discrimination in its employment, education and business environments applies to all students, employees, persons/ corporations with College contracts, visitors or guests provides a resolution-oriented process for receiving and investigating complaints identifies roles/responsibilities and outlines procedures to follow

13 Policy and Procedures Policy applies on all College campuses Print/telephone/electronic communications Off campus activities such as college social functions, academic or work assignments/placements or work/academic travel which affects a person’s work or study

14 Human Rights Policy The College’s Human Rights Policy an overview “directing mind” other avenues available disciplinary action responsibility not harassment

15 Human Rights Procedure An overview Complainant and respondent responsibilities Confidentiality Time limitations Trivial, frivolous or vexatious complaints Reprisal Stages of the complaint process Resolution focus at an early and informal level

16 Accommodation Principle of accommodation- 3 factors: dignity, individualization and inclusion Duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship Employees/managers or supervisors and the union each have a duty to co-operate with respect to accommodation

17 Disability Past, present or perceived conditions Physical disability: “any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement, caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness” Mental disability: “mental disorder; mental retardation or impairment; and learning disabilities” Focus on how a student was treated rather than on proving that he or she has physical or mental disabilities Note: increased sensitivity for non-evident disabilities: episodic, effects not visible or may not manifest consistently in all environments

18 Violations and Liability Violations unionized employees grievance procedure human rights compliant non unionized employees human rights complaint constructive dismissal Liability corporate liability individual liability

19 Responsibilities of Education Providers Establish and maintain positive, non- discriminatory learning environments Take immediate steps to intervene re: bullying or harassment Take steps to educate students about human rights; implement strategies to prevent discrimination and harassment

20 In Practice: Staff should not speak about a student’s disability in public, in front of a class or other students, disclose a student’s personal disability information without permission, leave written information regarding a student’s disability in a public place or in plain view, or use names when discussing general disability issues.

21 Shared Responsibility Reasonable steps for harassment and discrimination free environment Address issues immediately and effectively Contact Human Rights support person Take complaints seriously Document incidences, attempts to resolve etc. Ask for help early Be proactive in providing a healthy working and learning environment

22 Aren’t We Making Mountains Out of Molehills? No Behaviour is not a joke, or “just in good fun,” if it is known or can be reasonably known to be offensive. It’s not the intent of what you say or do, it’s the impact on the other person that’s important. Saying the other person “can’t take a joke” or “needs to lighten up” isn’t an excuse for harassing comment or conduct

23 Do I Have to Watch Every Move I Make? No Harassment is not: complimenting friends on their physical appearance or sharing a joke between friends engaging in mutually acceptable social interactions that are an important part of a comfortable working and learning environment a hug between friends or a mutual flirtation

24 What Should I Do If I Encounter Discrimination/Harassment? Embarrassing and unpleasant Self-blame or fear of reprisal If ignored, the behaviour may continue Personal responsibility for confronting inappropriate behaviour Ask the person to stop – say NO clearly and directly Keep a record of incidences, dates, times, places, people Seek assistance from administration and/or Human Rights Resource Contacts

25 What Can I Do ? Learn about cultures, genders, sexualities, religions, levels of ability other than your own Promote equality and diversity in thought, word and deed Respect the rights of others to hold different beliefs from your own Be aware of your own behaviour and the effect it has on other individuals Check out your impact on others Better to inquire than insult

26 What Can I Do? Object to discriminatory and harassing actions – don’t support offensive behaviour Refuse to laugh at, share or make sexist/racist jokes or comments Consider seriously, a concern someone raises about your words and actions Don’t be a participant or a bystander to what you know or suspect is not okay Stand in support of someone who complains about behaviour you too, find offensive

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