Author Topic: Harassment Questions  (Read 5575 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline opcougar

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • -6,085
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 271
Harassment Questions
« on: August 11, 2015, 11:48:04 »
Hello all,

Hoping someone can help demistify the conflicting answers being received on this matter. I have a member who has the following issues:

1. Grievance of administrative measure
2. Harassment complaint (verbal abuse, demeaning, marital status)

It is believed by the mbr that ongoing #2 from the supervisor, is what has led to a #1 being issued to the mbr. Member was told that the 2 issues can't be lumped together, and have to be seperated. Mbr seperated the 2 issues into 2 memos, but was advised that the harassment memo won't get actioned until a feedback from the administrative measure measure has been received.

Questions to those that have knowledge on these matters:

1. Is it true that the 2 can't proceed for action simultaneously; and
2. if they can, please point out references that states otherwise.

Again....this is NOT a sexual harassment mater, but instead other elements that come under the hospice of harassment.

Thanks in advance!

Offline DAA

    Administration is not an exact science..

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 90,460
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,280
Hello all,

Hoping someone can help demistify the conflicting answers being received on this matter. I have a member who has the following issues:

1. Grievance of administrative measure
2. Harassment complaint (verbal abuse, demeaning, marital status)

It is believed by the mbr that ongoing #2 from the supervisor, is what has led to a #1 being issued to the mbr. Member was told that the 2 issues can't be lumped together, and have to be seperated. Mbr seperated the 2 issues into 2 memos, but was advised that the harassment memo won't get actioned until a feedback from the administrative measure measure has been received.

Questions to those that have knowledge on these matters:

1. Is it true that the 2 can't proceed for action simultaneously; and
2. if they can, please point out references that states otherwise.

Again....this is NOT a sexual harassment mater, but instead other elements that come under the hospice of harassment.

Thanks in advance!

Personally, I would refer the member to one of the HA's in your local area and let them provide counsel.
Got a question that you're afraid to ask online?  PM me!  I don't bite........

Offline opcougar

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • -6,085
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 271
Ack. Like I said, mbr did get initial counsel which helped in drafting the 2 seperate memos. The grievance one has gone ahead and will take 120 days before a response can be expected as told to the mbr. However, the question here is.....is there a reason the harassment memo can't proceed as well, and where does it say both a grievance and harassment complaint can't run simultaneously?

The HA position locally is vacant, and the unit counsels aren't too sure.

Offline PuckChaser

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 915,030
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,087
    • Peacekeeper's Homepage
To me, if the mbr was grieving admin measures based on an allegation of harassment, and also submitted a harassment complaint, the IA for the grievance would likely want to see the outcome of the harassment investigation before deciding on the grievance. If there are other grievance reasons, then they shouldn't be linked together.

Offline DAA

    Administration is not an exact science..

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 90,460
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,280
Ack. Like I said, mbr did get initial counsel which helped in drafting the 2 seperate memos. The grievance one has gone ahead and will take 120 days before a response can be expected as told to the mbr. However, the question here is.....is there a reason the harassment memo can't proceed as well, and where does it say both a grievance and harassment complaint can't run simultaneously?

The HA position locally is vacant, and the unit counsels aren't too sure.

I'm not seeing any reason why a Harassment complaint can't be submitted and processed simultaneously.

http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/caf-community-support-services-harassment/index.page

There are multiple options available to CF members to seek guidance on these matters.  They can also consult the WRA (Workplace Relations Advisor), the local DRC (Dispute Resolution Centre) or an HA/WRA from outside the members Unit.  The CF member can even request to speak directly with the CO.

And here's another ---->  http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/caf-community-support-services-map/member-assistance-program.page

« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 12:51:13 by DAA »
Got a question that you're afraid to ask online?  PM me!  I don't bite........

Offline opcougar

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • -6,085
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 271
Thanks to everyone who responded! The sentiments echoed in this thread is what the mbr more or less was told, but it seems the mbr feels they are being played in a joint collaboration between the supervisor (the harasser) and the person who is supposed to bring the matter to the CO's attention.

The issues brought to light by the mbr in their harassment complaint is completely being ignored in favour of hearsay of the supervisor, that is being used against the mbr. If the harassment issues get looked at, it will become apparent what the main problem is in the grand scheme of things.

Thanks

Offline PMedMoe

    is retired and loving it!

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 253,345
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,325
There is also the option of seeing an HA at an entirely different unit.  That is allowed.   :nod:
"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving".
~ Lao Tzu~

Offline Pusser

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 85,770
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,791
I see no reason why an harrassment complaint cannot be submitted simultaneously with a Grievance application.  They are two separate processes, especially if the grievance concerns an administrative action (RW?) and the member is being harrassed in other ways (an unwarranted RW could also be construed as a form of harrassment).  I am most concerned, however, that the "person who is supposed to bring this to the CO's attention" may be part of a stalling effort?  That is simply not acceptable.  The CO needs to know about such things right away.  You may wish to take a look at QR&Os 19.12 and 7.04, which state:


19.12 - COMMUNICATION WITH THE COMMANDING OFFICER
 
An officer or non-commissioned member may, upon application, see the member's commanding officer on any personal matter.
 

7.04 - ORAL COMPLAINT
 
The right to grieve does not preclude an officer or non-commissioned member from making an oral complaint to their commanding officer before submitting a grievance.


Simply put, you can book an appointment to see your CO in order to discuss these matters with him/her in private and your supervisor cannot stop you from doing so (i.e. he/she does not have to "approve" your "application").  Furthermore, the fact that you can grieve in writing, does not in any way affect your right to see the CO privately.

If I were the CO in this case, I would be very interested to know if one of my supervisors was trying to prevent me from learning of such things.
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.

Offline opcougar

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • -6,085
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 271
Thanks again to everyone that responded. Mbr acted on the advice given here, and requested to speak to the CO. However, before mbr got a chance to speak to the CO, a charge was laid against the mbr for the same issue that got them the RW.....missing a unit function. It should be noted that mbr had range that morning, but didn't feel good after, and had got someone to pass it up.

All this facts were ignored, and it now looks like a summary investigation is going to happen.

Offline Pusser

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 85,770
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,791
Thanks again to everyone that responded. Mbr acted on the advice given here, and requested to speak to the CO. However, before mbr got a chance to speak to the CO, a charge was laid against the mbr for the same issue that got them the RW.....missing a unit function. It should be noted that mbr had range that morning, but didn't feel good after, and had got someone to pass it up.

All this facts were ignored, and it now looks like a summary investigation is going to happen.

Did the member report to the MIR?  This could get awkward.  You can't just excuse yourself from duty.  You need to get permission.  Also, trusting others to report things on your behalf can be risky at the best of times, it is particularly so when you're under the spotlight.
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.

Offline Lumber

  • Donor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 56,154
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,007
If the mbr was put on an administrative measure (IR/RW, and then subsequently charged) because he missed a unit function, I don't see how that can be construed as the result of harassment by the Supervisor?

Maybe if it was because the harassment was so bad that he had uncontrollable anxiety at the thought of being around his supervisor, but OP said the member just "wasn't feeling well".

To the OP, make sure your members know that they can go to the MIR for mental health issues and not just physical ones.
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

Death before dishonour! Nothing before coffee!

Offline Mediman14

  • Member
  • ****
  • 4,545
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 188
Harassment Question
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 18:20:52 »
I am a Harassment Advisor/ WRA. In the past couple months, I have received couple of complaints or questions on how to proceed. I have look in the HA Policy, but I didn't see the answer I was looking for.

If an Harassment Complaint was launched against an CO (who is the RO), Does the complaint have to go thru the CO? In turn the CO must send it higher. Is that accurate? If so, that doesn't seem right in my opinion.

The Policy is not totally clear, if an complaint is against an RO/ CO, the complaint must go to the CO's supervisor

Offline garb811

  • MP/MPO Question Answerer
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 73,110
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,442
Re: Harassment Question
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2018, 21:22:55 »
I am a Harassment Advisor/ WRA. In the past couple months, I have received couple of complaints or questions on how to proceed. I have look in the HA Policy, but I didn't see the answer I was looking for.

If an Harassment Complaint was launched against an CO (who is the RO), Does the complaint have to go thru the CO? In turn the CO must send it higher. Is that accurate? If so, that doesn't seem right in my opinion.

The Policy is not totally clear, if an complaint is against an RO/ CO, the complaint must go to the CO's supervisor
The complaint would go to the next level of the Chain of Command:

Harassment - Questions and Answers

Quote
Q8. What should I do if I feel harassed?
...
If you are planning on submitting a complaint, the complaint should be submitted to the immediate supervisor or Commanding Officer. In cases where the immediate supervisor or Commanding Officer is the respondent, the complaint should be submitted to the next superior in the chain of command. Alternatively, the complaint may be submitted to the unit Harassment Advisor.
...

Offline Simian Turner

    is a veteran who enjoys oddities!

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 48,945
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,636
  • Do the right thing; do the thing right!
Re: Harassment Question
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2018, 21:40:46 »
I am a Harassment Advisor/ WRA. In the past couple months, I have received couple of complaints or questions on how to proceed. I have look in the HA Policy, but I didn't see the answer I was looking for.

If an Harassment Complaint was launched against an CO (who is the RO), Does the complaint have to go thru the CO? In turn the CO must send it higher. Is that accurate? If so, that doesn't seem right in my opinion.

The Policy is not totally clear, if an complaint is against an RO/ CO, the complaint must go to the CO's supervisor

The best policy to access to answer your question is:  https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/healthy-workplace/prevention-resolution-harassment/guide-applying-harassment-resolution-process.html#toc3

1.  If the CO is the respondent he cannot obviously be the Responsible Officer. 

Excerpt: :The formal resolution process as outlined in the Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process requires that a complaint be filed in writing and calls upon an impartial person to determine whether or not a person’s rights have been infringed upon. This approach is sometimes necessary to protect an individual’s rights, to shed light on the alleged incidents and to determine appropriate corrective and or disciplinary measures."

2.  The WRA/HA should speak to the Base/Bde/Div Level (one-up) HA who will seek the advice of the chain of command at that level for the appointment of a RO - impartial person. 

At that level it will have to be determine by the RO and HA if the complaint meets the elements of the definition of harassment:  https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/healthy-workplace/prevention-resolution-harassment/guide-applying-harassment-resolution-process.html#toc3-2

Consideration
Elements of the definition

For a complaint to be deemed admissible, the different elements of the definition should be present:

The respondent displayed a potentially improper and offensive conduct;
The behaviour was directed at the complainant;
The complainant was offended or harmed;
The respondent knew or reasonably ought to have known that his or her behaviour would cause offence or harm;
The behaviour occurred in the workplace or at any location or any event related to work (as per the policy scope in the Application section of the Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution).
Repetitious behaviour versus single event

It is important to consider the severity and impropriety of the behaviour (act, comment or display) in the circumstances and context of each situation. Essentially, the definition of harassment means that more than one act or event need to be present in order to constitute harassment and that taken individually, this act or event need not constitute harassment. It is the repetition that generates the harassment. In other words, workplace harassment consists of repeated and persistent behaviours towards an individual to torment, undermine, frustrate or provoke a reaction from that person. It is a behaviour that with persistence, pressures, frightens, intimidates or incapacitates another person. Each behaviour, viewed individually, may seem inoffensive, however, it is the synergy and repetitive characteristic of the behaviours that produce harmful effects.

Please note that one single incident can constitute harassment when it is demonstrated that it is severe and has an important and lasting impact on the complainant.

Intention

In order to conclude that harassment occurred, the intent of the respondent to cause offence or harm by his/her acts, comments or displays does not need to be demonstrated; it is the impact on the other person that is taken into account. However, if this intent was present and can be demonstrated, it will be a factor in the determination of the corrective or disciplinary measures.

Reasonableness

To determine if a person ought to have reasonably known that the behaviour was improper, we must ask what a reasonable person, well informed of all the circumstances and finding himself or herself in the same situation as that of the complainant, would conclude. The behaviour in question is not only assessed by the impact or effect on the person, but it is also assessed against a reasonably objective standard. Did the behaviour exceed the reasonable and usual limits of interaction in the workplace? Would a reasonable person be offended or harmed by this conduct?

3. Step 2 – Reviewing the complaint
Once the complaint has been acknowledged, the person responsible for managing the complaint process proceeds with the review of the complaint to determine whether or not the allegations satisfy the definition of harassment (see definition found in Annex A of the Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process and examples provided in Annex A and Annex B of this document), and if necessary, seeks additional information from the complainant. The person responsible for managing the complaint process should be satisfied that the allegations and information provided, assuming they are true, satisfy the definition of harassment.

Complaints that do not meet the definition of harassment
If the person responsible for managing the complaint process determines that the allegations are frivolous or do not satisfy the definition of harassment, he or she informs the complainant that the complaint can not be accepted and provides the reasons for his decision.

In order to respect the principles of procedural fairness, the respondent is notified that a complaint was received, is provided with the allegations as they relate to him or her and the reasons why the complaint was not accepted. If the respondent requires a copy of the complaint, he or she has a right to obtain it.

If appropriate, the parties’ managers can be made aware of the situation and are provided with the information on a need to know basis only. The person responsible for managing the complaint process may redirect the complainant to the appropriate avenue of recourse such as referring the person(s) to an Informal Conflict Resolution practitioner or suggest other means of resolving the issue. Many behaviours that do not meet the definition of harassment may still undermine wellness and excellence at work.

4. Step 3 – Exploring options
The person responsible for managing the complaint process determines what efforts have already been made to resolve the problem and identifies with the parties the various avenues of resolution available. If appropriate, the parties’ manager may be involved in order to assist the parties in resolving the problem.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 21:44:13 by Simian Turner »
The grand essentials of happiness: something to do, something to love, something to hope for.  Allan K. Chalmers

Offline Mediman14

  • Member
  • ****
  • 4,545
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 188
Re: Harassment Questions
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2018, 22:41:18 »


The complaint would go to the next level of the Chain of Command:

Harassment - Questions and Answers


My unit most Snr NCO seems to think that the complaint should go thru the CO, who is obligated to send it to his superior.

Just to clarify, the complaint does not go through the CO/RO but directly to his supervisor?

Offline Simian Turner

    is a veteran who enjoys oddities!

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 48,945
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,636
  • Do the right thing; do the thing right!
Re: Harassment Questions
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2018, 22:49:56 »

My unit most Snr NCO seems to think that the complaint should go thru the CO, who is obligated to send it to his superior.

Just to clarify, the complaint does not go through the CO/RO but directly to his supervisor?

I would recommend that the complainant goes to the Harassment Advisor/WRA since the supervisor is a subordinate of the CO and will likely direct the complainant to go to the HA anyways.  Either way the path leads to the HA and not the CO.  The CO as a potential respondent cannot be the RO.
The grand essentials of happiness: something to do, something to love, something to hope for.  Allan K. Chalmers

Offline garb811

  • MP/MPO Question Answerer
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 73,110
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,442
Re: Harassment Questions
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2018, 23:12:40 »

My unit most Snr NCO seems to think that the complaint should go thru the CO, who is obligated to send it to his superior.

Just to clarify, the complaint does not go through the CO/RO but directly to his supervisor?
Yes, the supervisor of the CO, so the next level up in his/her chain of command.

If you're still unsure, the best bet is to engage another HA/WRA, preferably at that next level of command for their input and guidance.