Violence and Harassment
The Occupational Health and Safety Code of Alberta requires employers to:
- Recognize and assess workplace violence as a hazard
- Develop a policy and procedures on potential workplace violence
- Communicate the organization’s policy and procedures related to workplace violence
- Instruct workers on recognizing workplace violence
- Develop appropriate responses to workplace violence
- Develop procedures for reporting, investigating and documenting incidents of workplace violence.
Because it is related, the Rimbey Municipal Library Board has added workplace harassment to this policy.
Statement of Belief
Rimbey Municipal Library promotes an abuse-free environment in which all people respect one another and work together. Any act of violence or harassment committed by or against any individual/individuals affiliated with this organization; including staff, volunteers, and patrons is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated. The board is committed to investigating reported incidents of violence and harassment in a timely manner, taking necessary action, and providing appropriate support for the victims.
Acts of violence and harassment can take the form of physical contact or non-physical behaviors and can include but would not be limited to:
- threatening behaviour ie: shaking fists, destroying property or throwing objects
- verbal or written threats – any expression of an intent to inflict harm
- harassment – any behaviour that demeans, embarrasses, humiliates, annoys, alarms of verbally abuses a person and that is known or would be expected to be unwelcome. This includes words, gestures, intimidation, bullying, or other inappropriate activities
- verbal abuse – swearing, insults or condescending language
- physical attacks – hitting, shoving, pushing or kicking
Supervisors at every level must be knowledgeable about and sensitive to the many forms that violence and harassment can take. It may in fact be unintended; the test is whether a reasonable person knows or ought to have known that the behaviour would be considered unwelcome or offensive by the recipient.
Violation of the policy may be subject to disciplinary action commensurate to the incident, up to and including dismissal. In this policy volunteers are subject to the same protections and disciplinary actions as staff members.
For acts of violence or harassment by individuals outside of this organization, action taken would be commensurate with the incident up to and including temporary or permanent withdrawl of services or legal action.
Staff faced with an urgent situation involving threatening or violent conduct, where there is reasonable belief that the safety of persons may be threatened, should contact the police immediately.