Human Rights Policy

The following policy and procedures governing personal conduct and the rights of other employees and volunteers is established to benefit the Congregation and each of its employees, volunteers and members.

Shaarei Shomayim Congregation is committed to maintaining a workplace which complies with the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H19. The Code provides that every person has a right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, handicap, age, marital and family status or record of offences. No harassment is permitted on any of the above grounds. The Code also prohibits unwelcome sexual solicitations or advances made by a person in a position of authority or a reprisal because an advance has been refused. The Congregation recognizes its responsibility to take action to prevent harassment or discrimination and to provide procedures for redress when complaints of harassment or discrimination occur.

Definitions

Harassment

“Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” (Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H19, S. 10(1))

Conduct which constitutes harassment is abusive and/or offensive behaviour, such as ethnic, racist or sexist slurs, misuse of authority, suggestive remarks, physical advances or intimidation, sexual or otherwise.

Discrimination

Someone in authority or with responsibility treating one person less favourably than others, or providing less favourable service to that person because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, handicap, age, marital and family status or record of offences. (Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H19, S. (1)).

Every employee, volunteer and member of the Congregation is entitled under the Code to equal employment opportunity without discrimination on any of the grounds above. Because we are an Orthodox Jewish organization, certain precepts of our religion prevail over the anti-discrimination provisions of the Code. The Code explicitly recognizes this fact. However, except to the extent that our religious principles require, we are committed to ensuring that the Congregation fully adheres to the rights established in the Code.

Procedure in Case of Harassment

An employee, volunteer or member who believes he or she is being harassed, threatened or intimidated by another employee, volunteer or member should make an immediate, direct and clear statement to that employee, volunteer or member that the incident, remark or behaviour is not acceptable. If the complaining employee, volunteer or member does not receive a satisfactory response, he or she should immediately report the incident to the President, First or Second Vice-President, or the Executive Director. These individuals will then be responsible for investigation of the complaint on an informal basis and will make an attempt to bring about a reconciliation.

If the incident cannot be resolved on an informal basis, the following is the formal procedure which will be followed. A written record will be completed detailing the date, time, circumstances surrounding the incident and the name of the alleged offender. The alleged offender will also be provided with a copy of the complaint. Any witnesses will be interviewed and the incident will be thoroughly investigated and documented. All material will be treated as confidential and will not be divulged to unauthorized persons.

It will be the duty of the Executive Officers and Executive Director to ensure that an impartial and fair review of the complaint is undertaken.

Disciplinary Action

If there is a substantiated case of harassment, the Executive Officers, on behalf of the Congregation, will take remedial action to ensure that the offender is properly disciplined and that the complainant is free to do his/her job without fear of further harassment or other difficulties arising from the complaint.

Written material regarding the complaint will not be placed in the complainant's file and the individual making a complaint will not suffer retaliation. Under no circumstances will a person who makes a complaint be penalized as a result of any remedial action in a substantiated case of harassment.

In addition to the procedure set out above, an employee, volunteer or member has the right to utilize the complaint procedure established under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Information with respect to this procedure may be obtained from the Executive Director, or directly from the Commission at 416.326.9511.

January 2005