5.A.110 WS&H - Harassment Prevention

Safe Schools



Administrative Procedure: Workplace Safety and Health: Harassment Prevention



September 28, 2011
















Policy Reference



Legal Reference






Border Land School Division is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from harassment and supports individuals.  Harassment will not be tolerated.  An employee who believes he/she is being harassed should report the incident following the procedures outlines below.


What is Harassment? The Manitoba Human Rights Code defines harassment as:

  1. A course of abusive and unwelcome conduct (ie. a written or verbal comment, a physical act or gesture or a display, or any combination of them) directly related to the following:
    1. ancestry, including colour and perceived race;
    2. nationality or natural origin;
    3. ethnic background or origin;
    4. religion or creed, or religious beliefs, religious association or religious activity;
    5. age;
    6. sex, including pregnancy, the possibility or pregnancy, or circumstances related to pregnancy;
    7. gender-determined characteristics or circumstances other than those included in clause;
    8. sexual orientation;
    9. marital or family status;
    10. source of income;
    11. political belief, political association or political activity;
    12. physical or mental disability or related characteristics or circumstances, including reliance on a dog guide or other animal assistant, wheelchair, or remedial appliance or device;
    13. physical weight and size; or
  2. Objectionable conduct that creates a risk to the health of a worker: or
  3. Severe conduct that adversely affects a worker’s psychological or physical well-being if it could reasonably cause a worker to be humiliated or intimidated and is repeated, or in case of a single occurrence, has a lasting, harmful effect on a worker; or
  4. A series of objectionable and unwelcome sexual solicitations or advances; or
  5. A sexual solicitation or advance made by a person who is in a position to confer any benefit on, or deny any benefit to, the recipient of the solicitation or advance, if the person making the solicitation or advance knows or ought to reasonably to know that it is unwelcome; or
  6. Sexually oriented behaviour or remarks which create a negative psychological environment for work or study.Such behaviour or remarks include, but are not restricted to:
    1. Demeaning remarks based on gender
    2. Suggestive jokes about sex
    3. Inappropriate comments about clothing, physical characteristics or activities
    4. Inappropriate displays of sexual pictures or materials
    5. Derogatory terms, graffiti which degrades a person based on his/her sex or sexual orientation
    6. Leering, ogling, and suggestive or insulting sounds
    7. Unwanted questions or comments about one’s private life
    8. Unwanted physical contact, such as brushing up against one’s body, patting or pinching
    9. Sexual assault (an offence under the criminal code); or
  7. A reprisal or threat or reprisal for rejecting a sexual solicitation or advance
  8. Border Land School Division also recognizes that retaliation is seen as further harassment and will not be tolerated.


What does not constitute harassment? (The MB Human Rights Code)

  1. Consensual banter or romantic relationships where the people involved consent to what is happening, is not harassment.
  2. Appropriate performance reviews, counselling or discipline by a supervisor or manager, is not harassment ie:
    1. Reasonable action taken in a reasonable manner by an employer or supervisor to:
      1. Assess, evaluate, transfer, demote, discipline or dismiss a worker, or
      2. Manage and direct the employees work or workplace;
    2. A decision by an employer or supervisor, based on reasonable grounds, not to award or provide a promotion, transfer or benefit to a worker;
    3. Reasonable action taken in reasonable manner under an ACT or regulation affecting a worker.




Complainant: refers to the person(s) who believes she/he is being harassed and has filed a complaint.


Respondent: refers to the person against whom the complaint has been made.


Complaint Procedures:


Any person who believes that he/she is being harassed (within the definitions provided in this procedure) should act promptly in order to resolve the situation; allowing the division to work in a proactive and timely manner to prevent any further harassment.


Employees are encouraged to choose an informal resolution procedure to reach a mutually acceptable agreement, in which future interactions will be free of harassment.


However, if the complainant is not able to communicate with the alleged harasser the complainant may choose to proceed directly to the Formal Procedure.


Informal Procedure:


A staff member who believes that he/she is being harassed may choose to resolve the issue by communicating (verbally or in writing) directly with the person who is believed to be the alleged harasser, to reach agreeable terms of interaction.  If a staff member does not select an informal approach, they should file their complaint directly and refrain from sharing the information informally with any other employees.


Formal Procedure:


The complainant shall file a complaint (verbally or in writing) with the Principal, Supervisor or designate and or the next higher authority (if the administrator is the alleged harasser). Once the initial complaint has been filed, the formal harassment claim form will be completed by the complainant with the Principal, Supervisor, or designant.


The complainant may also speak directly to their Workplace Safety and Health Representative and or their Union Representative in accordance with their respective Collective Agreement.



Upon receipt of a formal complaint the Principal, Supervisor or designate shall contact the Assistant Superintendent to review the complaint process.


Within two (2) working days of the receipt of a complaint alleging harassment; the Principal, Supervisor or designate shall meet independently and in confidence with both the complainant and the respondent to obtain such clarification as may be necessary.


At any time during the investigation, the Principal, Supervisor or designate shall be empowered to take interim action as may be deemed necessary with respect to the complainant and the alleged harasser, pending the outcome of the complaint.


Subsequent to the investigation of the facts the Principal, Supervisor or designate may:

  1. Endeavour to resolve the matter through a conflict resolution process; or
  2. Take disciplinary action against the respondent as warranted; or
  3. Recommend further action; or
  4. Dismiss the complaint; or
  5. Take disciplinary action against the complainant, if in the course of the investigation, the Principal, Supervisor or designate finds the complaint was malicious and without grounds.


    The appropriate parties involved will be advised in writing on the determination of the alleged harassment.


    In the event the action taken by the Principal, Supervisor or designate is unacceptable to either the complainant or the respondent, the matter shall be referred to the Assistant Superintendent or designate in writing for his/her consideration and action.


    Within five (5) working days of receipt of a written complaint alleging harassment, the Assistant Superintendent or designate will endeavour to resolve the matter and in doing so shall:

  1. Assume responsibility for investigating all such complaints in a confidential manner.
  2. If necessary, take steps to ensure that there is no recurrence of the situation while the investigation is in progress.
  3. Take appropriate disciplinary action against the respondent where such is found to be warranted.
  4. Inform the complainant and the person against whom the harassment complaint has been lodged in writing of the outcome of the investigation.
  1. Take disciplinary action against the complainant, if in the course of the investigation, the Assistant Superintendent finds the complaint was malicious and without grounds.
  1. If required, refer the matter to the Superintendent/CEO and or the Board of Trustees for their consideration and action.



Please note: In addition to a filing a complaint according to Border Land School Division Procedure, the complainant has the right to pursue his/her complaint through the Manitoba Human Rights Commission or where appropriate through law enforcement agencies under the Criminal Code of Canada, or both.

Formal Complaint Form – Harassment in the Workplace


Complainant Name:


Respondent Name:


Supervisor Name:




Nature of the allegation:
















Complaint Received by:


Name: Signature:



Complainant Signature:



Border Land School Division

Border Land School Division acknowledges that the communities and schools located within Border Land School Division sit on Treaty 1 and Treaty 3 land, the original lands of the Anishinaabe peoples and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Border Land School Division respects the treaties that were made on these treaty areas and we dedicate ourselves to moving forward in partnership with our Indigenous communities in a spirit of truth, reconciliation and collaboration.