Policy against psychological harassment

1. Objectives of the policy

This policy emphasizes the need to prevent and quickly resolve any situation of psychological harassment. It establishes actions that must be followed in the workplace to prevent or correct psychological harassment situations and provides mechanisms for handling reports and complaints for any person who is the victim of psychological harassment.
The purpose of this policy is to protect and defend victims of psychological harassment fairly and in compliance with the requirements of the Act respecting labor standards. The good faith of any complainant is presumed.

This policy, however, should not be used in a perverse or malicious manner or with intent to harm anyone.

2. Scope

Everyone has the right to a workplace that is free of psychological harassment. The scope of this policy is defined by what constitutes psychological harassment, the work environment, and the intended individuals.

2.1 Psychological harassment:

Any vexatious behavior in the form of repeated and hostile or unwanted conduct, verbal comments, actions or gestures, that affects an employee’s dignity or psychological or physical integrity and results in a harmful work environment for the employee.

2.1.1 Conduct constituting sexual harassment, whether physically or verbally, could be considered psychological harassment. The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Civil Code of Québec provide for special provisions to this effect.

2.1.2 Section 46 of the Charter states that:
“Every person who works has a right, in accordance with the law, to fair and reasonable conditions of employment which have proper regard for his health, safety and physical well-being. “

2.1.3 Article 2087 of the Civil Code of Québec states:
“The employer is bound not only to allow the performance of the work agreed upon and to pay the remuneration fixed, but also to take any measures consistent with the nature of the work to protect the health, safety and dignity of the employee.”

2.2 Vexatious behavior is defined as:
the nature and intensity of unwanted and unwelcome acts, as well as their impact on the victim.    

Vexatious behavior can take different forms, for example:

• Insult, joke, threat, derogatory comment or unwelcome gesture;
• Object, photo or degrading poster, writing, printing or broadcasting inappropriate messages;
• Insidious or manipulative attitude, which aims to torment, inconvenience or denigrate a person.

Vexatious behavior can:
• be repeated behavior
• or a single serious incident.

2.3 The workplace

Represents the general work environment, which is related to the work done.

It can be:
• Any physical place where the employee is called to work according to the needs of his job;
• All contact, during or outside working hours, related to the performance of their duties, as they affect the work environment or interfere with the work performance of the concerned employee.

2.4 Targeted persons:

Applies to any maintenance employee, dishwasher, office staff employee, or executive staff employee of the company. They are the only ones authorized to use the harassment reporting process set out in this policy.

3. Treatment of reports

3.1 Services d’entretien d’édifices ALLIED (Québec) Inc. designates a person responsible for the follow-up of this policy to support, if need be, any person who thinks he is the victim of harassment in his actions or to intervene directly if necessary.
3.2 The person who believes that he or she is being harassed and that the situation can be remedied, may notify their harasser that their conduct is undesirable and asks him / her to stop. However, in cases where harassment involves occupants of the building contract, no direct intervention is made and instead the problem is reported to the immediate supervisor.
3.3 It is the responsibility of any person who has reasonable grounds to believe that he / she is a victim of psychological harassment and needs help to stop it, to report the harassment to the person responsible for following this policy, as designated by the employer, within 20 days of the event in question.
3.4 According to the data of the case submitted, a report may lead to several ways of intervention.
3.4.1 The search for additional information, the awareness of the implicated individual.
3.4.2 The policy on harassment and the effects of certain behaviors on the individual who suffers them.
3.4.3 The use of a mediation mechanism to resolve the situation by agreement occurs when there is a disagreement from both parties.

3.4.4 A formal complaint may be lodged and an investigation will ensue if the mediation mechanism is not appropriate or has not produced satisfactory results.
3.4.5 At any time, during a meeting with the person responsible for monitoring the policy, the complainant or the person implicated may be accompanied by a person of their choice.

3.5 A person who believes that he or she is being harassed may file a complaint without prejudice or retaliation. This protection does not preclude the use of formal measures if the report or complaint is found to be abusive or malicious, or is itself used for the purpose of harassment.
3.6 In the case of a grievance filing, the use of the investigative process applies.
3.7 When the report involves occupants of the building contract, the intervention solicits the cooperation of the building manager. Services d’entretien d’édifices ALLIED (Québec) Inc. will reciprocate, if an occupant makes a harassment report against a Services d’entretien d’édifices ALLIED (Québec) Inc. employee.
3.8 Services d’entretien d’édifices ALLIED (Québec) Inc. is primarily responsible for providing a workplace free of psychological harassment; this responsibility is shared by the building manager. The treatment of a complaint of psychological harassment involving an occupant of the building contract requires joint action.

4. Reception of the report

4.1 Upon receipt of the report, the person responsible for the follow-up of the policy exercises his role by:

• Receiving information in confidence from the person alleging the harassment;
• Exchanging information with that person in order to clarify the situation and establish the admissibility of the report;
• Evaluating with this person the best way to regulate the situation, according to the gravity of the actions, which may involve:

1. To contact the implicated party to clarify the situation;
2. To undertake, if both parties agree, a mediation process to resolve the problem amicably;
3. File a formal complaint and initiate an investigation process;
4. To put forward, when the situation so requires, transitional measures to protect the persons concerned by the report against a continuation of the situation reported or against possible reprisals;
5. Assist the person to make a complaint, if any.

4.2 If an admissible report involves occupants of the building contract, the processing involves the participation of a person designated by the building manager to establish the follow-up.
4.3 At the end of this process, the person responsible for monitoring the policy produces a report outlining the complainant’s allegations and the decisions made. The consent of the complainant is necessary to remove confidentiality .

5. Mediation process

5.1 If a mediation process is adopted, the person responsible for monitoring the policy carries out its role by:

• Initiating an objective process to dispel misunderstandings, eliminate or correct unwanted behaviors and restore a harmonious work environment;
• Tracking the fixes that have been agreed upon.

5.2 If the report involves occupants of the premises under contract, a meeting with the building manager, the person responsible for monitoring the policy and a representative of the occupant of the premises under contract, will take place in order to define a solution and regulate the situation, according to the gravity of the alleged acts.
5.3 At the end of this process, the person responsible for monitoring the policy produces a report summarizing the circumstances and bases of the report, the results of the mediation and, if applicable, recommendations for further action.

6. Investigation process

6.1 Upon submission of a complaint, the person responsible for the follow-up of the policy carries out its role by:

• Gathering all relevant information and views of the parties concerned and, if applicable, potential witnesseses, for the purpose of verifying the merits of the allegations and the circumstances of the case;
• Documenting its findings on facts, their relevance to the definition of harassment, their effects on individuals and the workplace;
• Recommending measures to resolve the situation and, if necessary, prevent the recurrence of similar situations.

6.2 If the report involves a witness who occupies the premises, the building manager solicits his contribution to the investigation by asking the witness, on a voluntary basis, his version of the facts.
6.3 If the report involves a defendant who occupies the premises, a joint intervention between the building manager and the person responsible for monitoring the policy is necessary.

7. Record keeping

7.1 If a complaint is made, there is no record in the personal file of the complainant. However, if an administrative or disciplinary action is taken against any person, it is noted in that individual’s file, with reference to the file of the complainant.

7.2 Complaint files relating to psychological harassment are confidential. They are cleared once a year. All information collected for harassment complaints becomes irrelevant when no subsequent incident relevant to the case data has occurred for a period of two years.

8. Measures and sanctions

8.1 Where an abusive, frivolous or bad faith complaint is lodged, the author of the complaint may be subject to a penalty depending on the nature and seriousness of the complaint and the intentions assigned to it.
8.2 Anyone found responsible for psychological harassment is liable to penalties, up to and including dismissal. Services d’entretien d’édifices ALLIED (Québec) Inc. determine the penalty, if any, taking into consideration the findings of the investigation report issued by the person responsible for monitoring the policy.
8.3 The imposition of a disciplinary measure must be made within 25 days of the conclusion of the investigation.
8.4 In the event that a complainant has suffered damages (e.g. loss of pay for absence from work, health problems, etc.), the Human Resources Department assesses appropriate remedial measures.