Anti-Harassment/Non-Discrimination Policy

Anti-Harassment/Non-Discrimination Policy

The Savoy Society of Ottawa is committed to fostering a safe collaborative community environment free of discrimination and harassment, where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, can contribute fully, and have equal opportunities.

Harassment and/or discrimination will not be tolerated, condoned, or ignored from any persons, this includes Board and non-board members of the Society, as well as volunteers and anyone who has a relationship with our Society,

This policy also applies to events that occur outside of any form of physical workspace or rehearsal spaces, such as during festival travel, Savoy events, company parties and get-togethers.

This policy has the following objectives:

  • Help define what is meant by harassment and discrimination.
  • Create awareness that harassment and discrimination are unacceptable practices and are incompatible with the standards of the Savoy Society of Ottawa, as well as being a violation of the law.
  • Provide clear examples of unacceptable behaviour and working conditions.
  • Reiterate in clear terms the Savoy Society of Ottawa’s view toward harassment and discrimination and its commitment to preventing it.
  • Precisely state the consequences of  harassment and discrimination.
  • Encourage reporting of all incidents of harassment and discrimination.
  • Provide a confidential process by which employees can report incidents and to whom.
  • State applicable regulatory requirements, where possible.

Federal and Provincial Human Rights Laws prohibits discrimination or harassment based on the following grounds, and any combination of these grounds:

  • Age
  • Creed (religion)
  • Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Family status (such as being in a parent-child relationship)
  • Marital status (including married, single, widowed, divorced, separated or living in a conjugal relationship outside of marriage, whether in a same-sex or opposite-sex relationship)
  • Disability (including mental, physical, developmental or learning disabilities)
  • Race
  • Ancestry
  • Place of origin
  • Ethnic origin
  • Citizenship
  • Colour
  • Record of offences (criminal conviction for a provincial offence, or for an offence for which a pardon has been received)
  • Association or relationship with a person identified by one of the above grounds
  • Perception that one of the above grounds applies.

DISCRIMINATION means any form of unequal treatment based on a Human Rights Code ground, whether imposing extra burdens or denying benefits. It may be intentional or unintentional. It may involve direct actions that are discriminatory on their face, or it may involve rules, practices or procedures that appear neutral, but disadvantage certain groups of people. Discrimination may take obvious forms, or it may happen in very subtle ways. Even if there are many factors affecting a decision or action, if discrimination is one factor, that is a violation of this policy.

HARASSMENT means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against another member that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome or unfair.

It can involve words or actions that are known or should be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning or unwelcome, based on a ground of discrimination identified by this policy. Harassment can occur based on any of the grounds of discrimination.

Harassment, as defined in section 264 of the Criminal Code of Canada (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46), states that:

  • No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.
  • The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of
    1. Repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;
    2. Repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;
    3. Besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or
    4. Engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.

In addition, uttering threats by any means of communication, whether by letters, email, phone, messaging…etc. Is also guilty of violating the harassment policy. Section 264.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46) states that:

  • Every one commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
    1. To cause death or bodily harm to any person;
    2. To burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or
    3. To kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.


Examples of harassment can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Epithets, remarks, jokes or innuendos related to a person’s race, gender identity, gender expression, sex, disability, sexual orientation, creed, age, or any other ground
  • Posting or circulating offensive pictures, graffiti or materials, whether in print form or via e-mail or other electronic means
  • Singling out a person for humiliating or demeaning “teasing” or jokes because they are a member of a Human Rights Code-protected group
  • Comments ridiculing a person because of characteristics that are related to a ground of discrimination. For example, this could include comments about a person’s dress, speech or other practices that may be related to their sex, race, gender identity or creed.


SEXUAL HARASSMENT is a form of harassment that can include:

  • Gender-related comments about a person’s physical characteristics or mannerisms
  • Paternalism based on gender which a person feels undermines his or her self respect or position of responsibility
  • Unwelcome physical contact
  • Suggestive or offensive remarks or innuendoes about members of a specific gender
  • Propositions of physical intimacy
  • Gender-related verbal abuse, threats or taunting
  • Leering or inappropriate staring
  • Bragging about sexual prowess or questions or discussions about sexual activities
  • Offensive jokes or comments of a sexual nature about an employee or client
  • Rough and vulgar humour or language related to gender
  • Display of sexually offensive pictures, graffiti or other materials including through electronic means
  • Demands for dates or sexual favours.

This policy prohibits sexual solicitations or advances by any person involved with the Savoy Society of Ottawa who is in a position to grant or deny a benefit to the recipient of the solicitation or advance.  Reprisals for rejecting such advances or solicitations are also not allowed.

Additionally, any and all forms of bullying will not be tolerated.

BULLYING is defined as the use of verbal or physical force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. Bullying can happen once or can be repeated and habitual.

Cyberbullying is any bullying done through the use of technology.

Some examples of bullying and harassment can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Spreading malicious rumours, gossip, or innuendo.
  • Intimidating or attempting to intimate a person.
  • Undermining or deliberately impeding a person’s work.
  • Physically abusing or threatening abuse.
  • Removing areas of responsibilities without cause.
  • Constantly changing work guidelines.
  • Establishing impossible deadlines that will set up the individual to fail.
  • Making jokes that are ‘obviously offensive’ by spoken word or e-mail.
  • Intruding on a person’s privacy by pestering, spying or stalking.
  • Assigning unreasonable duties or workload which are unfavourable to one person (in a way that creates unnecessary pressure).
  • Underwork – creating a feeling of uselessness.
  • Yelling or using profanity.
  • Criticising a person persistently or constantly.
  • Belittling a person’s opinions.
  • Unwarranted (or undeserved) punishment.
  • Tampering with a person’s personal belongings or work equipment.
  • Yelling at others.
  • Name-calling.
  • Singling out, isolating and/or excluding individuals socially or professionally through words or behaviour.
  • Belittling and making someone feel unimportant.
  • Being treated in a non-respectful manner.
  • Backstage directing:  cast members giving unsolicited direction to other cast members in a show is known as “backstage directing”.  If in doubt, ask the Directors to define their version of backstage directing.
  • Purposefully giving the wrong information.
  • Purposefully withholding necessary information that does not fall within the scope of The Savoy Society of Ottawa’s confidentiality agreement.

Bullying, harassing, or discriminatory behaviour does NOT include:

  • Expressing differences of opinion.
  • Offering constructive feedback, guidance, or advice about work‑related behaviour and responsibilities.
  • Reasonable action taken by a Manager, Director, Instructor, or Supervisor relating to the management and direction of volunteers or the workspace. (e.g., managing a people’s performance, ensuring compliance with safety rules, taking reasonable disciplinary actions, assigning or changing responsibilities based on demonstrated ability).

If someone is not sure an action or statement could be considered bullying or harassment, they can use the “reasonable person” test: ‘Would most people consider the action unacceptable?’

Reasonable action taken will be taken by the Board to prevent further incidents of reported harassment, bullying, discrimination, or threats.

All members, volunteers, and those associated with the Society are encouraged to report all incidents of harassment or discrimination. Incidents can be reported to the Volunteer Coordinator and/or to the President of the Savoy Society of Ottawa.

The Board will investigate all incidents and any complaints in a fair, respectful and timely manner.

The Board will maintain the anonymity of those making reports. Any information provided about an incident or about a complaint will not be disclosed except as necessary to protect members, to investigate the complaint or incident, or to take corrective action or as otherwise required by law.

Anyone found to be in violation of this policy by the Board of Directors will be given up to a maximum of two warnings, either verbal or written, to cease or change their behaviour.

The Board will revoke the membership privileges or Board status of any individual deemed to be in continued violation of this policy after the second warning.

If the nature of the behaviours are such that they may be deemed to constitute an immediate threat of bodily harm to an individual or individuals, or cause destruction of property, the Board or its representatives may elect to remove an individual immediately and contact the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

All persons associated with The Savoy Society of Ottawa are expected to uphold and abide by this policy, by refraining from any form of harassment or discrimination, and by cooperating fully in any investigation of a harassment or discrimination complaint.

Production and Directorial Staff have the additional responsibility to act immediately on observations or allegations of harassment or discrimination.

Managers, Directors, Supervisors, Coordinators,  Instructors and their assistants are responsible for creating and maintaining a harassment-and discrimination-free organization, and should address potential problems before they become serious and report them to the Board immediately.

The Board of Directors commits to monitoring and reviewing this policy on a yearly basis, and to update this policy to comply with any regulatory changes as needed with feedback from the membership.