1.0 RESPONSIBILITY

Head – Diversity and Human Rights Department

2.0 POLICY STATEMENT

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is committed to providing a work environment and service delivery that respects the dignity, self-worth and human rights of every individual, and is free from any form of discrimination or harassment. The TTC condemns harassment, denigration, discriminatory actions, and the promotion of hatred. The TTC will not tolerate, ignore or condone any form of discrimination or harassment perpetrated against or by any employee or customer. All employees and contractors are responsible for respecting the dignity and rights of their co-workers and the public they serve.

3.0 PURPOSE

This policy is intended to:

  1. Define workplace discrimination and workplace harassment, and provide instruction on TTC’s complaint reporting and investigation procedures in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  2.  Create and foster a workplace free from discrimination or harassment;
  3.  Establish and detail the responsibilities of all employees and contractors to maintain a workplace and service delivery free from discrimination or harassment;
  4. Ensure that incidents of discrimination or harassment in the workplace are immediately reported to management, the Diversity and Human Rights Department, and Transit Control as appropriate; and
  5. Ensure that incidents of discrimination or harassment in the workplace are fully and fairly investigated in a timely manner by the TTC.

4.0 APPLICATION

4.1 This policy applies to:

  1. All employees, including all full-time, part-time, temporary, student, co-op, intern, casual or term;
  2. Any persons who perform work at a TTC workplace, including but not limited to, contractors, consultants, unpaid interns or co-op students, and an individual that is paid by a third party and uses TTC assets (e.g. computers) and performs work for the TTC (e.g. Non-Employee Labour Assistants) (collectively referred to as “contractors”); and
  3. Customers.

4.2 All contractors will be advised of the applicable provisions of this policy and will be expected to adhere to, and enforce these requirements for their employees, sub-contractors and agents.

4.3 Discrimination and harassment are serious forms of misconduct. Employees who are found to have engaged in discriminatory and/or harassing conduct against other employees, contractors or customers will be disciplined, up to and including dismissal.

4.4 A contractor or the contractor’s employee, sub-contractor or agent, that is found to have engaged in discriminatory and/or harassing conduct against a TTC employee, other contractor or customer may have its contract terminated or may be requested to remove or replace their employee, sub-contractor or agent.

4.5 Any employee or contractor who has authority to prevent or discourage discrimination and harassment will be held responsible for failing to exercise this authority, and may be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal, or termination of its contract, as applicable.

4.6 This policy is subject to annual review, and modifications will be made as deemed necessary to respond to current conditions and evolving needs.

5.0 DEFINITIONS

5.1 Discrimination: Every person has a right to equal treatment by TTC with respect to its services and facilities, accommodation, contracts, and employment without discrimination.

Discrimination occurs when a person is subjected to differential treatment and/or denied an opportunity in employment or excluded from access to service or facilities based on one or more protected grounds (as defined below). Discrimination can be direct or indirect, and does not have to be intentional.

Protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code and this policy are: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed/religion, sex including pregnancy and breastfeeding, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status and disability.

5.2 Harassment: Every person has a right to equal treatment by TTC with respect its services and facilities, accommodation, contracts, and employment, without harassment.

Harassment is defined as engaging in vexatious comments or conduct against a worker or person that is known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome, and involves a course of conduct or a single serious incident.

Harassment does not have to be based on one or more protected grounds (as defined in section 5.1 above).Harassment includes personal (non-code) harassment.

Harassment may take many forms and includes, but is not limited to:

  1. a pattern of behaviour that a reasonable person would consider to be insulting, bullying, humiliating, malicious, degrading, unwelcome or otherwise offensive to an individual or group of individuals including frequent insults, demeaning communications, public humiliation;
  2. any offensive and/or discriminatory comments or behaviour arising from the use of electronic and/or social media, devices and systems;
  3. any offensive or humiliating behaviour that is related to a person’s sex or gender, as well as behaviour of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile work environment, or that could be reasonably thought to put sexual conditions on a person’s job or employment opportunities (see definition of sexual harassment below);
  4. any behaviour that causes a work or service environment to be extremely hostile and/or isolating for an individual or group of individuals.

5.3 Racial Harassment: Is harassment (as defined at section 5.2 above) on the protected ground of race. Racial harassment/discrimination includes, but is not limited to:

  • racial slurs or jokes;
  • ridicule, insults or different treatment because of your racial identity
  • posting/emailing cartoons or pictures that degrade persons of a particular racial group;
  • name calling because of a person’s race, colour, citizenship, place of origin, ancestry, ethnic background or creed.

5.4 Sexual Harassment: Is harassment (as defined at section 5.2 above) on the protected ground of sex. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • sexual advance or solicitation from anyone if they know or ought to know the advance is unwelcome, especially if the advance is from a person in a position to give or deny a benefit; to engage in a reprisal; or to threaten reprisal if the advance is rejected;
  • sexually suggestive or obscene remarks or gestures, leering (suggestive leering) at a person’s body;
  • demanding hugs;
  • unwelcome physical contact, including unwanted touching;
  • having to work in a sexualized environment (bragging or discussions about sexual activities);
  • circulation or posting of sexist jokes, cartoons or pornographic images in the workplace;
  • display of pin up calendars or other objectifying images,
  • negative stereotypical language, comments or conduct based on gender, sex or sexual orientation and gender related comments about an individual’s physical characteristics or mannerisms. This is also known as gender-based harassment.

5.5 Poisoned Work Environment: A poisoned work environment is a form of indirect harassment. It occurs when comments or actions ridicule or demean a person or group creating real or perceived inequalities in the workplace. Pornography, pin ups, offensive cartoons, insulting slurs or jokes, innuendos, name calling, malicious gossip (even when they are not directed towards a specific employee or group of employees), have been found to “poison the work environment” for employees.

5.6 Workplace: Includes all locations where TTC services are provided, or where business or social activities are conducted, including all land, facilities, mobile equipment and vehicles owned, leased or otherwise directly controlled by the TTC for the purpose of conducting TTC business. It also includes any locations or worksites to which employees or contractors have been assigned or which they may access during the performance of their duties.

6.0 SUPERVISORY ACTIONS

Appropriate supervisory actions including, but not limited to, directing or assigning work, discipline, legitimate performance management, employee performance appraisals, management or operational directives, work related change of location, co-workers and/or job assignment, do not constitute discrimination or harassment under this policy.

7.0 RESPONSIBILITIES

7.1 Employee and Contractor Responsibilities

All employees and contractors are responsible for:

  • understanding and upholding their rights, responsibilities and obligations under this policy, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • respecting and valuing individual differences in all employees and customers;
  • not engaging in offensive, discriminatory and/or harassing behaviour;
  • acting respectfully towards others, and not conducting themselves in a manner that will embarrass and/or jeopardize the integrity, business interests, image and/or reputation of the TTC;
  • co-operating with any efforts to investigate and resolve matters that violate this policy;
  • reporting promptly all incidents of discrimination and/or harassment experienced, witnessed, or having knowledge of, to a supervisor, member of management and/or Diversity and Human Rights; and
  • maintaining confidentiality related to investigations and mediations.

7.2       Managerial Responsibilities

In addition to the expectations set out in 7.1 above, all managers and supervisors are responsible for preventing, discouraging and addressing acts of discrimination and harassment by:

  • ensuring that their workplace is free from harassment and discrimination, being aware of what is happening in their workplace and taking appropriate action upon becoming aware of discriminatory and/or harassing conduct contrary to this policy, the Ontario Human Rights Code and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • promoting understanding and compliance with this policy, the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • not engaging in behaviour contrary to this policy, the Ontario Human Rights Code and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • not allowing or condoning behaviour contrary to this policy, the Ontario Human Rights Code and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • taking all complaints of discrimination and harassment seriously by; reporting all complaints to Diversity and Human Rights, responding to all complaints in a sensitive manner, investigating allegations of discrimination and/or harassment, and taking prompt action to resolve the complaint;
  • documenting details of human rights concerns, actions taken, outcomes and remedies implemented; and
  • consulting with the Employee Relations Section of the TTC’s Human Resources Department to determine appropriate discipline and/or corrective action for individuals found to have engaged in discriminatory and/or harassing conduct.

7.3 The Diversity and Human Rights Department’s Responsibilities

Diversity and Human Rights is responsible for preventing, discouraging and addressing acts of discrimination and harassment. All complaints to Diversity and Human Rights will be dealt with in an unbiased manner. Responsibilities include:

  • promoting awareness, understanding and compliance with this policy, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • responding to  complaints of discrimination and/or harassment in an impartial, sensitive and timely manner;
  • conducting, co-ordinating and/or assisting management in informal resolutions, mediations, and investigations into complaints that are covered by this policy; and
  • being the corporate liaison to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO).

7.4 The Human Resources Department’s Responsibilities

The Human Resources Department is responsible for preventing, discouraging and addressing acts of discrimination and harassment by:

  • promoting understanding and compliance with this policy, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • removing barriers in employment policies and practices that may have the effect of discriminating against groups or individuals who are protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act;
  • advising managerial staff on corrective action and/or discipline that arises from a breach of this policy; and
  • participating in the review of this policy for continuous improvement.

7.5 The Training and Development Department’s Responsibilities

The Training and Development Department is responsible for preventing, discouraging and addressing acts of discrimination and harassment by:

  • promoting understanding and compliance with this policy, the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act; and
  • in consultation with Diversity and Human Rights and Human Resources, developing and conducting training programs to educate all employees and supervisory staff on this policy, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

8.0 COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

TTC has developed the following complaint procedures for investigating and resolving complaints that may arise concerning discrimination and/or harassment. These procedures require the full co-operation of all employees or individuals, including the complainant(s) and respondent(s)

8.1 Identify the Problem and Attempt to Resolve Informally

Employees who feel they have been discriminated and/or harassed in the workplace are encouraged to first make it known to the offending person(s) that the behaviour is offensive and/or unwelcome. TTC encourages employees to first try to resolve their concerns among themselves in a courteous and respectful manner, where appropriate and safe to do so. Employees may speak to their management and/or Diversity and Human Rights to get ideas on how to resolve the problem informally.

8.2 Filing a Complaint

8.2.1 If approaching the offending person(s) directly is not appropriate or not possible, or if after doing so the discrimination and/or harassment continues, employees should then immediately report in detail the actions, behaviour or incident(s) to:

  • their immediate supervisor; 
  • any member of their departmental management (e.g. manager, department head); and/or
  • directly to Diversity and Human Rights.

8.2.2 A complaint of an alleged violation of this policy may be recorded in writing by either the employee, by the supervisor or management staff receiving the complaint. It should identify the date and time of when the conduct took place, where it happened, who the employee believes harassed or discriminated against him or her, the details of what happened, and the names of any witnesses. The complaint must also be reported to Diversity and Human Rights.

8.2.3 In the absence of a written complaint or a complainant, management and/or Diversity and Human Rights may determine a need to investigate depending on the alleged actions, behavior and/or incident reported.

8.2.4. Serious cases of harassment where a person’s safety is at risk (for example stalking) must be reported immediately to Transit Control who will immediately despatch the appropriate Police Services, emergency personnel, and supervisory personnel. Any employee who is a victim of a criminal act may also directly contact the appropriate Police Services to lay criminal charges. 

8.2.5 Customers are encouraged to bring forward their complaints of discrimination or harassment to TTC personnel through the TTC’s Customer Service line at 416-393-3030, or online at www.ttc.ca. These complaints will be investigated and addressed as appropriate. In cases of emergency, customers are required to call 911.

8.2.6 Complaints of discrimination or harassment by contractors should be brought to the attention of their direct TTC representative, Diversity and Human Rights, and the contractor’s company. These complaints may be investigated and addressed as deemed appropriate depending on the alleged actions, behaviour and/or incident. In cases of emergency, contractors are required to call 911.

8.2.7    Any person may file a complaint directly with the HRTO. If the person files a complaint with the HRTO, Diversity amd Human Rights may choose to suspend any complaint investigation processes under this policy pending final determination of the HRTO. All complaints filed with the HRTO shall be managed by Diversity and Human Rights and the TTC’s Legal Department.

8.3 Mediation

If a complaint has been submitted, and where appropriate, the employees involved are both willing to try to resolve the matter through mediation, Diversity and Human Rights will conduct or co-ordinate the mediation. Mediation is a voluntary process whereby the employees can meet with a mediator to determine whether their problem can be resolved in a mutually satisfactory manner.

8.4     Investigation

8.4.1    Subject to sections 9 and10 below, if a complaint is not resolved informally or through mediation, a formal investigation will be carried out as follows:

  • Diversity and Human Rights will determine the nature of the investigation required given the circumstances of the incident;
  • Diversity and Human Rights will assist management in conducting the investigation;
  • in situations where the allegations may pose a conflict of interest for the work location; involve multiple work locations or multiple work departments; or allege that the respondent is in a managerial position above supervisor, Diversity and Human Rights may conduct the investigation, or direct the investigation to an external investigator.

8.4.2 The investigation conducted by management or Diversity and Human Rights  will include, but not be limited to, the following steps as appropriate:

  • a documented interview with the complainant(s) to establish the scope of the complaint and to review details that support the allegations in the complaint;
  • a documented interview with the alleged respondent(s) to provide him or her with the allegations of the complaint and a summary of the supporting facts;
  • obtaining information from the respondent for a full response to the allegations;
  • informing the complainant of any counter-allegations made by the respondent to give the complainant a chance to respond to these new allegations;
  • documented interview(s) with the relevant witness(es);
  • providing opportunities for each party to answer to allegations and counter-allegations that arise during the investigation;
  • a collection and review of all relevant documentation for the investigation;
  • any other step the investigator deems necessary to fully and fairly investigate the complaint;
  • a written report of the results of the investigation to be provided to Employee Relations , management of the complainant and respondent, and Diversity and Human Rights; and
  • the investigation will be handled in a manner that protects the privacy of the parties involved to the extent possible, and the integrity of the complaint.

8.5 Remedial Actions

Pending the completion of an investigation, appropriate measures will be taken to ensure the workplace is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Such measures may include an employee alleged of engaging in discriminatory or harassing conduct being transferred to another work location; re-assigned duties; suspended; and/or relieved of duty. Management should consult with Employee Relations to determine the most appropriate course of action pending the completion of an investigation.

All employees involved or affected by an incident of discrimination or harassment should be offered support from the Employee Family Assistance Program, together with any other remedial measures deemed appropriate, including but not limited to, initiating training programs or refresher training programs, or changing a policy or practice.

Once an investigation is complete, management should consult with Employee Relations prior to taking any disciplinary action based on the results of an investigation.

9.0 TIME LIMITS

A complaint of discrimination or harassment will be dismissed:

  • if the incident occurred more than one (1) year prior; or
  • if there was a series of incidents, more than one (1) year after the last incident in the series;

unless Diversity and Human Rights is satisfied that the delay was incurred in good faith.

10.0 BAD FAITH COMPLAINTS

10.1 It is a violation of this policy to put forward a vexatious and/or bad faith complaint. These include complaints that are filed:

  • without reasonable grounds;
  • with the intention to embarrass or harass; or
  • with no factual basis.

10.2     If it is determined in an investigation that an employee or contractor made a complaint in bad faith and/or the complaint was frivolous or vexatious, he or she will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal, or termination of its contract, as applicable.

11.0     REPRISAL

Any person who files a complaint or acts as a witness in good faith is protected from reprisal, the threat of reprisal, or further discrimination or harassment. Reprisal is defined as any act of retaliation, either direct or indirect, in both work and service environments. Any employee who engages in reprisal against anyone who has filed a complaint or who is co-operating in an investigation of a complaint will be disciplined, up to and including dismissal.

12.0 CONFIDENTALITY AND RECORDS

12.1 To protect all parties involved in a complaint of discrimination or harassment and the integrity of the complaint handling and investigation procedures, strict confidentiality will be required and maintained during and after the investigation and/or mediation to the extent practicable and appropriate under the circumstances. However, information may be disclosed for the following reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • to protect the safety of employees, customers, the public and/or contractors; and
  • where required by law, for example, pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety Act; in arbitration proceedings, proceedings before the HRTO or criminal proceedings.

12.2 If it is determined that an employee or contractor has breached confidentiality during or after an investigation and/or mediation, he or she will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal, or termination of its contract, as applicable.

13.0 REFERENCE SOURCES

  • Accommodation in the Workplace Policy
  • At Work Program
  • Code of Conduct Policy
  • Collective Agreements
  • Conditions of Employment Policy
  • Criminal Code
  • Criminal Misconduct Policy
  • Discipline Policy
  • Employee Complaints and Grievances Policy
  • Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Whistle Blower Reporting and Protection Policy
  • Workplace Violence Policy