Book*hug Press' Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policy | Book*hug Press

Book*hug Press’ Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policy

Book*hug Press is committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Book*hug Press employees, including management, editors, all those engaged in freelance or contract work, interns and volunteers, (hereinafter, “Book*hug Personnel), and Book*hug authors, as well as members of the public attending Book*hug affiliated events, are entitled to, and are expected to contribute to, a respectful workplace free of harassment and discrimination.

By law, every person has the right to be free from harassment and discrimination. Harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated, condoned, or ignored at Book*hug Press. Inappropriate conduct on the part of any Book*hug Personnel or Book*hug author in the form of harassment or discrimination, or on the basis of a serious breach of professional standards of conduct, is unacceptable by the professional standards of Book*hug Press.

Every attempt will be made to resolve such issues internally. Book*hug Press management will take the necessary steps available to ensure a respectful environment is restored and maintained. If a claim of harassment or discrimination is proven, disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including termination of employment or contract of engagement. Book*hug Personnel or Book*hug authors are entitled to appeal to the courts for redress in the event that the perception of unfair treatment persists beyond the internal efforts to resolve a conflict.

This policy applies at every level of Book*hug Press and to every aspect of the workplace environment and working relationship. The “Workplace” includes all locations where individuals acting on behalf of Book*hug Press conduct business, including business trips, and/or social activities, including book events, and where their behaviour may have a subsequent impact on work relationships, environment and/or performance.

Workplace harassment means engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or workplace sexual harassment.
Workplace sexual harassment means:

  • engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or
  • making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome;

The Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in five parts of society, called “social areas” – employment, housing, services, contracts and membership in trade, vocational and professional associations. Protection is offered based on the following 17 grounds. This policy 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.

The following behaviour is prohibited:

Discrimination: means any form of unequal treatment based on a 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 a course of comments or actions that are known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome. 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.

Sexual Solicitation: this policy prohibits sexual solicitations or advances by any person who is in a position to grant or deny a benefit to the recipient of the solicitation or advance. This includes managers and supervisors, as well as co-workers where one person is in a position to grant or deny a benefit to the other. Reprisals for rejecting such advances or solicitations are also not allowed.

Poisoned environment: a poisoned environment is created by comments or conduct (including comments or conduct that are condoned or allowed to continue when brought to the attention of management) that create a discriminatory work environment. The comments or conduct need not be directed at a specific person, and may be from any person, regardless of position or status. A single comment or action, if sufficiently serious, may create a poisoned environment.

Reasonable action taken by the employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the workplace is not workplace harassment.

Book*hug’s Co-Publishers are responsible for creating and maintaining a harassment and discrimination-free environment, and should wherever possible address potential problems before they become serious. Book*hug Personnel and Book*hug authors are encouraged to report, in writing, any incidents of workplace harassment or discrimination to either, or both, of the Co-Publishers. If either of the Co-Publishers has a personal interest in the matter to be discussed, the report should be made to the other Co-Publisher, or via a lawyer or a third-party consultant. An original, signed copy of the letter will be held in the personnel files.

The Co-Publishers will investigate and deal with all complaints or incidents of workplace harassment or discrimination in a fair, respectful and timely manner. Information provided about an incident or about a complaint will not be disclosed except as necessary to protect staff, to investigate the complaint or incident, to take corrective action or as otherwise required by law.

All Book*hug Personnel and Book*hug authors are expected to adhere to this policy, and will be held responsible by the press in cases where it is not followed. Book*hug Personnel or Book*hug authors are not to be penalized or disciplined for reporting an incident or for participating in an investigation involving workplace harassment or discrimination.

We encourage anyone who has a complaint against a Book*hug Personnel member or Book*hug author, at any time, to please contact Co-Publishers Jay Millar (jay@bookhugpress.ca) and/or Hazel Millar (hazel@bookhugpress.ca).

For further assistance, other resources are available online through:

The Government of Ontario
The Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre
The Ontario Human Rights Commission
The Ontario Human Rights Code (1990)
The Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act (1990)