Working together

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Shaping Organizational Excellence

Working Together to Create Safe Workplaces About This Issue........................................2

Chapter News..........................................11

Chair's Message........................................3

Student Perspective................................12

Managing Safety at Lakeridge Health.......4

Photo Gallery...........................................14

Addressing Harassment in Universities.....7

Upcoming Events.....................................16

HR Law: #MeToo at Work..........................9

2 · Working Together to Create Safe Workplaces

About This Issue Gladys Saenz, Editor Shaping Organizational Excellence

Board of Directors CHAIR Ernest Ogunleye, Chartered MCIPD VICE CHAIR Catherine Claridge, CHRL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Tisha Lorincz, CHRL COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Gladys Saenz TREASURER Don Sinclair, CHRL

Editorial Committee

Carly Howard, CHRL Rosanna Keys, CHRL Asha McClean, CHRP Ernest Mistica, MIR, CHRP

Resource Magazine - HRPA Durham Chapter Mailing Address: 105 Consumers Drive, Whitby, ON L1N 1C4 Fax: 647-689-2264 Circulation: 900 electronic copies circulated three times per year with limited press run. Articles may not be reproduced without prior written permission. Statements, opinions and points of view expressed by contributing writers do not necessarily represent those of HRPA. While care is taken, Resource Magazine assumes no responsibility for errors or the return of unsolicited materials. Resource Magazine is not responsible for advertising claims made in its pages or inserts; however, we will not knowingly accept for publication, ads, articles, or inserts that contain false statements or defame others. Resource Magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertisement. Credit for advertisement limited to space error occupies. The information contained in this publication is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Design: Editing:

Our program year is ending and the Board is finalizing plans for next year. We offered exciting programs and events, which resulted in an increase in participation by 170 members compared to last year. We will continue to work diligently to ensure we provide the most effective and relevant professional development to enable our members to adapt to an ever-changing and challenging work environment. At our Annual Business Meeting on May 16, 2018, we recognized HRPA members who achieved their CHRP, CHRL and CHRE designations. We also presented the 2017 Outstanding CHRL and Member of Excellence Awards. We were delighted to have David Scott, strategic communications advisor, as our keynote speaker, providing us with insight and knowledge on reputation management and crisis communications. In this issue of Resource Magazine, we are sharing programs and best practices on workplace harassment. The problem of harassment has been front-page news this past year, receiving significant attention in Hollywood as well as over a million voices sharing their experiences in Twitter posts under hashtag #MeToo. Day after day more people are coming forward and speaking out and, in some cases, sharing what they have endured. Recent amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act expanded employers’ obligation with respect to dealing with workplace sexual harassment. Harassment can be devastating to the victims and can create a toxic atmosphere in the workplace. Our employment law article from Christine Ashton, Partner at Wilson Vukelich LLP, explains employers’ obligations when dealing with workplace harassment and guides us through the steps required to manage an investigation. In addition, we spoke with Vanessa Aguiar, Director of Occupational Health, Safety & Healthy Workplace at Lakeridge Health. She shared some best practices implemented at Lakeridge Health. Its harassment program covers employees, managers, supervisors, patients and their families. We also interviewed Dr. Hanna Scott, a founding faculty member of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Dr. Scott has authored numerous articles, chapters, encyclopedia entries and the following books: Victimology: Canadians in Context and The Female Serial Murderer: A Well-Kept Secret of the Gentler Sex. She shared that post-secondary institutions are unique when dealing with harassment, and explained the elements that make the student population a target for victimization. On a final note, HR professionals play an extremely important role in reducing and eliminating harassment at work by helping build an environment of trust. We hope you will find this issue insightful as we all work together towards creating safe workplaces.

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From the Chair’s Desk:

Building a Better World Together Ernest Ogunleye, Chartered MCIPD

My fellow Regional Durhamites, All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts – William Shakespeare (from As You Like It, spoken by Jaques) This phrase written over 400 years ago has a resonance and clarity that readily applies to the present time. It brings to mind a statistic from the McKinsey Global Institute: by 2030, it's estimated that up to 375 million individuals around the world may need to learn new skills due to future labour demand and the net impact of automation.1 This is confirmation that “one man [or woman] in his [or her] time plays many parts.” Add to this our shifting international climate and it creates an interesting mix. For instance, on the global stage, the NAFTA renegotiation talks are ongoing, the U.S.–China trade dispute continues, the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, and there is a first-ever North Korea–U.S. summit. All this is causing fluctuating petroleum prices, uncertainty in world economies, reduced job growth and other impacts on individual livelihoods—leaving many hanging precariously in the balance, anxiously awaiting the outcome of future events. We must ask ourselves: What next is in store and are international treaties binding? Do we resolve key international disputes as a global community or should countries act unilaterally and purely out of self-interest? In Ontario, the provincial election was on June 7, 2018. The economy was—and is—a key factor and will certainly be impacted by world events. I sincerely hope you voted to ensure that the views of our communities are represented. As of May 7, 2018, the Government of Ontario announced it was reviewing the new public holiday pay rules introduced by the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. As an interim measure, the government has made a new regulation that reinstates the public holiday pay formula that applied prior to the Act, effective July 1, 2018.2 Small businesses in 1 2

particular are understandably pleased with this development, as it will reduce an additional financial commitment. Zooming in on HRPA Durham We have some changes to the Board. First, we say farewell to our Past President, Morgan Kerby, as she completed her term as of May 31, 2018. On behalf of the membership, the Board and myself, I want to thank her for her leadership, support and service to the HRPA Durham Chapter. Next, your three newly elected Board members took office as of June 1, 2018: Licinia Bennett, Jennifer Janca and Leyland Muss. You will be hearing more from our new team members in the next edition of Resource Magazine. In addition, Catherine Claridge assumed the role of Chapter Vice Chair as of June 1, 2018. She has been ably serving on the HRPA Durham Board since 2015. Finally, HRPA Headquarters has decided to change the title of “Chapter President” to “Chapter Chair” but it still retains its Chief Executive Officer role. This also took effect as of June 1, 2018. HRPA Durham’s membership numbers are strong at approximately 900 members. I am very pleased to report that for the third year in a row (2015–2017) we have won a Chapter Award for Excellence in Retention. Please congratulate yourselves, as your continuing commitment to HRPA Durham has been honoured provincially and is much appreciated! HRPA Durham remains committed to our three themes of Democracy, Community Involvement and Inclusiveness. To that end, we have been working closely with Threads of Life ( and participated in their Steps for Life walk in Pickering on May 6, 2018. This charity focuses on raising awareness of workplace injury, illness and death. It also supports the survivors and families affected by these tragedies. You will find photos from the walk in this issue. We continue to collaborate with Durham Region’s Chambers of Commerce and have attended several combined events. We are exploring options to expand our impact in the wider community. We are following your lead as HR professionals, since several of you are already doing this in a personal capacity. The creation of the new Member of Excellence Award by HRPA Durham Chapter is proof of our collective commitment. I look forward to seeing you at future events and finding out your views on how HRPA Durham can best serve its membership. In closing, I would like to leave you with the words of the Dalai Lama: “With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world.”

4 · Working Together to Create Safe Workplaces

Managing the Complexities of a Safe and Healthy Workplace at Lakeridge Health

Vanessa Aguiar, BSc. (Hons. Kin), MHSc. (OEH), CRSP, Director, Occupational Health, Safety & Healthy Workplace, Lakeridge Health Vanessa Aguiar is the Director of Occupational Health, Safety & Healthy Workplace at Lakeridge Health. Lakeridge Health is one of Ontario’s largest community hospitals, serving people across Durham Region and beyond. Its mission is to deliver high-quality healthcare—“because the people coming through our doors are our neighbours, family and friends.” Resource Magazine spoke with her about awareness and prevention of workplace harassment, and how Lakeridge Health ensures a safe and healthy workplace. RM: How does Lakeridge Health raise awareness among employees about issues of harassment and violence including sexual harassment? VA: Lakeridge does a number of things, first starting from new hire orientation. It is a strategic priority, so communication from day one is very important so that employees feel that safety is a part of their everyday job. We want employees to feel empowered to make decisions about what is acceptable and not acceptable behaviour starting from orientation. We also have two committees who bring awareness and action to ongoing issues. One committee is involved in the messaging and communication in visible places, like the hallways and elevators, about our policies and procedures. Our committee came up with the communication that is in place currently and worked with HR collaboratively: the flyers in the hallways and elevators are all messages (with pictures) from members of the committee.

The result of this program has been much more reporting and metrics around how our programs are being managed. This campaign was launched last fall, and we are building on this success. The second committee has strategic responsibilities regarding health and safety. Additionally, we have other ways to sustain awareness of our policies and procedures regarding issues of harassment and violence. For example, we have a booth where employees can submit their concerns, mandatory in-person training, an annual Passport to Safety training, and established Joint Health and Safety Committees. RM: Do you have a program that provides support to help victims feel safe and secure in the workplace? VA: Typically, a manager is the first person to respond to an incident. Firstly, the manager needs to address how the victim feels. Depending on the situation, they would then take appropriate action, which may involve moving a patient or nurse, or placing an employee on leave. The follow-up usually includes a recommendation that the alleged victim talks to our Employee Assistance Program as well. During the investigation, we recognize the validity of both parties but always err on the side of the victim. If the result of the investigation finds an infraction against policy, we would follow with disciplinary procedures. RM: Do you take any additional steps to prevent or minimize bullying and harassment, outside of existing policies and procedures? VA: We try to identify specific issues and continually assess if new programs need to be created to prevent or minimize bullying and harassment. For example, there is a new program being implemented by another healthcare institute that is geared to mental health, and we modified it so it could fit

Resource: Shaping Organizational Excellence ¡ Spring/Summer 2018 ¡ 5

with Lakeridge Health. The concept behind the program is to find out what triggers patients [with mental health issues] so that we can better set expectations among all of our employees who work with them.

injuries than those employed in fields often perceived to be more dangerous. What measures and processes do you have in place when it comes to patients attacking nurses?

The newly implemented program is about understanding the needs of the patient so healthcare professionals can assess and react to what a patient may need while waiting for a doctor. We are looking at how to better prevent and minimize harassment in regards to nurses in cases like this, where the environment is often very stressful and sensitive.

VA: Our hospital does not have that many incidents; there were only a few in 2017. We have a de-escalation process that has resulted in fewer incidents overall. Having a deescalation process is something we have found to be successful given the amount of complex situations we can run into with providing healthcare to the public.

RM: How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your programs?

Especially with new mental health changes, there is no pre-established way to manage the numbers. We need to equip our workforce with the ability to manage the workload and be more resilient. For example, we may have an incident where a patient may attempt to use inappropriate behaviour with a nurse. It is important to handle things properly. We are looking at how we can flag patients who react in a manner that may not be acceptable. We have instances of repeat offenders, so we need to provide information that will help other nurses and healthcare workers know what triggers the patient.

VA: One of the primary ways we evaluate effectiveness is by using incident reporting. We also evaluate feedback from employees through annual engagement surveys and the outcomes of workplace violence risk assessments. We have a dedicated section in the annual engagement survey around work environment, which we use when action planning. RM: WSIB lost-time claims statistics show healthcare workers experience significantly more violence-related

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6 · Working Together to Create Safe Workplaces

One of the challenges we face is funding and resources. We have five locations with full-time, part-time and causal employees working 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. That creates challenges to having the optimal resources in place at all times throughout the day and year. RM: Who manages workplace investigations at Lakeridge Health? VA: It depends, but typically from an employee perspective, it starts with the manager. After the manager reviews the incident with them and completes an initial investigation, they include both the Director of HR and myself to review all the reports. If the issue is with a patient, the unit manager starts the investigation. We may also include an external third-party investigator if it is appropriate. RM: How often do you reassess workplace violence risks at the hospital? VA: It depends on the level of risk, but currently we review all potential workplace violence risks. We have guidelines

for reviewing timelines based on their level of risk: once a year for high risk, every three years for lower risk and as needed for new or changing services or based on the number of reported incidents.

pletely in our field. For example, we seek to answer questions like “How can we de-escalate patients and family members who are emotionally charged or fearful?” and “How can we address long wait times creatively?”

RM: What are some of the overall challenges Lakeridge has faced as an organization or you have faced as an HR professional in the implementation and maintenance of your workplace violence prevention program? What advice would you offer other employers and HR professionals going forward?

I would encourage other employers and HR professionals to look at all aspects of what impacts or incites violence. Looking at symptoms and situational factors that result in violence can better inform us as HR professionals on how to respond in a systematic and timely matter. We need to help managers through training and guidance on how to handle incidents, and follow up with them so they are comfortable being the first point of contact when it comes to investigations.

VA: One of the biggest challenges we face as a healthcare organization is that there are many unique challenges that come up in our industry. Maintaining a workplace violence prevention program and a healthy workplace needs to be balanced with maintaining a high quality of care for patients. We look at how we can address triggers related to violence and mitigate risk as much as possible, since we can’t always change or eliminate risk com-

Within our community, we also need to learn from others facing similar challenges. In the healthcare industry, we are lucky to have learned from others that are facing similar patient and employee care challenges, and we try to lift and adapt programs that have worked at other locations.

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Addressing Sexual Harassment and Supporting Victims and Survivors in Universities Hannah Scott, PhD, Founding Faculty Member, University of Ontario Institute of Technology Dr. Hannah Scott is a founding faculty member of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). She received her undergraduate degrees (Psychology and Sociology) from McMaster University, Master of Sociology degree from the University of Guelph and PhD in Sociology from University of Alberta. Prior to arriving at the UOIT as an Associate Professor, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis. She was the Founding Director of the Centre for Evaluation and Survey Research; and the Founding Vice-President and, later, President of the UOIT Faculty Association. Her current projects are in the areas of workplace bullying, homelessness, drug courts, and serial and mass homicide. Dr. Scott joined Resource Magazine to discuss how universities are addressing sexual harassment and violence, and what is being done to prevent it.

there has been great discussion with staff, students and the community to look at policies and procedures and drive action. Action items like checklists are being created as a collaborative outcome between stakeholders. These will continue to improve, as the legislation requires us to review them periodically. RM: Do you believe disciplinary structures and best practices to deal with harassment have been well established in post-secondary institutions? HS: There has been a lot of thoughtful discussion on this. We should see more discussion and potential solutions, as there is more disclosure of results across universities. If more people are taking the issue seriously, there may be an increase in reporting. The more comfortable victims are about communicating about violence, the more employers and the police enforcement will need to react to different scenarios and determine how to respond to them. RM: How can the HR professional assist with this society and workplace issue?

HS: HR professionals can try to understand when parallels RM: In 2015, the Government of Ontario issued an action exist between workplaces and look for other industry paralplan to help address sexual violence on campus. Did lels that may exist so they can understand which tools can the recommendations for universities and colleges help help. Healthcare, for example, has had existing policies and minimize incidents of sexual violence? HS: Universities are a unique environment because of the student population, which is more likely to be a target for victimization. Issues can arise more frequently with this population because of a few factors that can be attributed to victimization: young, predominantly single, and more likely to engage in dating and consume alcohol and drugs. Universities try to pride themselves on being safe learning spaces, so it was a logical place to start building action plans to help address sexual violence. The new legislation required universities to be safe spaces for both staff and students. Overall, it is still too new to determine if it is working or not. Society and women in particular understand that sexual violence does exist in society and the workplace. However,

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8 ¡ Working Together to Create Safe Workplaces

procedures on how to address harassment and violence in the workplace, as it is an industry that has had to deal with these society issues frequently. Tools such as the Power and Control Wheel have been used to help victims validate their feelings and communicate them to others in order to raise their concerns. HR professionals can also seek to understand how abusive situations and power dynamics can manifest in the workplace. There is a movement to believe survivors in society and in the workplace, and we should be taking every claim seriously and following up. Investigators may need to dig deeper than an individual level, and may need look into team and culture dynamics. RM: Who is the best person to investigate when an employee has been named as the accused and why? HS: The best person to investigate would be the person who does not have a conflict of interest. Depending on the situation, there may be inherent bias for management or HR, and a third-party investigator may need to conduct the investigation. Investigations need to be conducted fairly and thoroughly, as there may even be a criminal activity. Since workplaces have ignored it in the past, legislation helps with creating a mandated process for creating safe and healthy workplaces.

RM: There are many sexual incidents not reported. Do you believe this is the same with violence and harassment being under reported? HS: This could be the same issue with violence and harassment being under reported. There are many examples in the workplace where culture plays an important part in promoting escalation of concerns and reporting incidents. One example is the Westray Mine disaster, one of Canada’s largest mining disasters. It was found that the employer subjected the workers to mistreatment and many safety standards were not upheld. There was a lack of safety concern, and it was difficult for the workers to raise issues because of a culture of fear. If there is a culture of not protecting those who bring issues to light, victims may not report them. Another factor that may influence under reporting is the ability to identify the feelings a victim may be having in order to report them. As a previous domestic violence counsellor, I often used a Power and Control Wheel that was for domestic violence to help victims identify with the behaviours that they were experiencing. It was a way to name the type of violence and behaviours in order for a victim to feel comfortable with reporting.

In the previous mining example, there are parallels between domestic abuse behaviours and the safety concern behaviours that the employer was exhibiting. This accommodation to violence is a concern for victims and being able to put names to feelings is a powerful tool in order to not have under reporting occur. RM: What preventative measures can be put in place to minimize this problem? HS: Most importantly, having open and honest discussions is the most effective measure to minimize this problem. Using tools like the wheel should help create discussion and validate some of the feelings that victims may have and open up channels of communication. It also opens up communication for abusers, to identify their own behaviours and create more self-awareness for their destructive behaviours. HR professionals and supervisors can guide conversations and create open discussions. The other important preventative measure is creating safe spaces for victims to report. In universities, students need to feel like action will be taken. We should believe that the claim is real and valid, and accommodate the victim (and offender, if reasonable) based on the situation. Actions may include giving offenders sensitivity training to prevent future behaviours from occurring.

Resource: Shaping Organizational Excellence · Spring/Summer 2018 · 9

Handling #MeToo at Work

Christine Ashton


he serious concern about workplace harassment has resonated on a widespread basis. Employers are now expected to be more sensitive to the issue, and will be called to task for failing to properly prevent and respond when harassment occurs in the workplace. Employees are also becoming more aware of their expanding rights and more confident in reporting concerns. Indeed, after Bill 132 came into effect in September 2016, expanding the definition of harassment to specifically include sexual harassment, the Ministry of Labour saw a 136% increase in harassment complaints (from 903 to 2,133).

employers in Ontario. The policy and procedures should clearly set out the employer’s commitment to fight harassment and that everyone plays an important role in preventing and responding to harassment.

Who receives the complaint? Is there a formal form used to file a complaint? Is it okay to try to resolve things without a complaint? All of these questions should be answered by the policy and complementing procedures.

Employers must be committed to providing a safe and welcome environment for all employees. It is important to keep a watchful eye on workplace interactions and culture. An easy way to help ensure that the workplace has a healthy culture is through a company policy. In fact, such a policy and the complementing procedures are legally required for all provincially regulated

The procedures should explain the investigation process while giving the employer some flexibility, as no two complaints are alike. For one complaint, the employer may wish for an internal person to handle the investigation, while for another complaint, the employer may desire an outside investigator to be retained. Also, some investigations may need to come to an abrupt end due to parallel criminal proceedings. The goal is to ensure that all employees know what is expected of them and what is to be expected if there is an investigation. Employees should have guidance when asking themselves: “Is it okay to make a few dirty jokes about a new assistant if she laughs too?” Further, employees should know what to do if there has been an incident.

Even if it has been made clear that harassment will not be tolerated, and even if supervisors are alert to the signs, unfortunately harassment can still occur. When workplace harassment or sexual harassment has possibly occurred, employers must ensure that the concern is properly investigated. The first steps in the investigation process are to determine who will be investigating the matter and what (if any) workplace changes need to be implemented during the investigation. Employers should be mindful not to assume they know what will make the complainant feel safe and welcome during the investigation. Communication is the key to having a positive workplace investigation. All too often Continued on next page...

10 · Working Together to Create Safe Workplaces

matters end up before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario as a result of an employee not feeling safe or heard.

• Avoid leading the individual; ask open-ended questions before asking specific questions.

• Make sure to have follow-up meetings as needed, leaving no important loose ends.

As any workplace complaint may eventually end up before the Human Rights Tribunal, the Ministry of Labour or otherwise, investigations should not be handled lightly. No employer wants to have its investigator be embarrassed by their efforts when they take the witness stand.

• Make sure to get specific details about date, time, location, etc. (e.g., for how many minutes did the interaction last?).

Once the investigation is completed, an informal or formal report will need to be prepared and the employer will need to decide what’s next. The report should address the scope of the investigation, the evidence, the conclusion and the proposed response. Depending on the evidence, the conclusion may not be definitive. Instead, the conclusion may be “it is more likely that” or “it is unlikely that.”

To ensure the investigation is done properly, it should be done by a neutral person (e.g., not a person in a subordinate position to the respondent). In addition, to ensure the investigation meets expectations, the following are some general tips to keep in mind for handling the investigation meetings: • At the outset of any meeting, make sure to remind the person of their confidentiality obligations. • Properly record all statements with handwritten or typed notes, which may be signed by the people providing the statements.

• Clarify any subjective statements (e.g., on a scale of 1 to 10, how loudly was the comment made?). • Ensure that all relevant documents (e.g., emails, texts and pictures) are received, and that both the complainant and the respondent have a chance to review them. • Ensure that all possible witnesses are identified and questioned, including those who could assist in determining the timeline of events (e.g., a witness who would have seen the employee(s) leave and return after the alleged incident). • Make sure to get what response is proposed by the complainant and the respondent (e.g., would the complainant be satisfied with training and is the respondent willing to apologize?).

Once the report is completed, it is up to the employer to decide what to do in review of the report. If there was workplace harassment or workplace sexual harassment, the incident and possibly any workplace culture issues will need to be addressed. Even if there was no workplace harassment or workplace sexual harassment, there may still be departmental or companywide issues to be addressed. When looking over the recent amounts awarded to employees, it is understandable that employers are fearful of the consequences of workplace harassment and workplace sexual harassment. However, we must focus on the positive, and see this as an opportunity to ensure no one comes to work afraid and everyone feels respected. A positive workspace makes for a more successful workplace. Christine Ashton is a Partner at Wilson Vukelich LLP ( The information contained in this article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice, nor does accessing this information create a lawyer-client relationship. This article is current as of May 2018 and applies only to Ontario, Canada, or such other laws of Canada as expressly indicated. For clarification or for legal or other professional assistance, contact Wilson Vukelich LLP.

Resource: Shaping Organizational Excellence · Spring/Summer 2018 · 11

Chapter News


The HRPA Durham Chapter congratulates the members listed below, who recently attained their CHRP, CHRL or CHRE. As a certified practitioner you can apply your knowledge and skills to meet the ever-changing demands of our dynamic profession. On behalf of the Chapter, thank you for your continued dedication to advancing our profession. CHRP Madison Anderson

CHRL Daniela Bolton

Jennifer Campbell

Charlotte Hoyle

Anastacia Carreiro

Daniela Rojano Correa

Patricia Chiodo

Jenny Woodside

Nichola Gleaves

Karen Wessman

George Hawtin Michael Houlden

CHRE Jenny Affe

Spenser Kristensen

Tanya Sinclair

Oluyinka Leigh

Kathryn Gooding

Sara McElwain


Mara Mendoza Bruno Mignardi Teresa Owen Melissa Pavlidis Alicia Piggott Jasmin Reville Desmond Rose Marissa Smith Caroline Switalski Donn Umpleby Peter Wulczynski Momina Zahid

The HRPA Durham Chapter Awards were presented at the ABM on May 16, 2018. The Outstanding CHRL Award is presented to a Chapter member in recognition of their contributions to the profession and elevation of the practice of HR management. This year’s winner is Nancy Brandon.

Finally, the Chapter has been a strong supporter of the students in our region as they pursue their education, and we provide financial scholarship awards to deserving HR students at Durham College, Trent University Durham and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. This year's scholarship recipient is Paul Noble from Durham College. Please join us in congratulating our winners!


Ernest Ogunleye, HRPA Durham Chair, confirmed the composition of the new HPRA Durham Board at the ABM on May 16, 2018. Congratulations to our newly elected Board members: Licinia Bennett, Jennifer Janca and Leyland Muss. Stay tuned—more information to come in an upcoming issue!

This year, the Chapter established a new award to recognize the outstanding achievements of our members. These HR professionals are direct contributors to the economic success of the Durham Region as a whole. The Member of Excellence Award winner is Arlene Walkes.

Call for Contributions

We Want Your Help!

We want Resource Magazine to be as informative and useful as possible for you, our members! So we are asking for your suggestions, ideas and input. Please let us know what you would like to see in upcoming issues by contacting us at We welcome all feedback and look forward to continuing to be an excellent resource for the members of the Durham Chapter!

12 · Working Together to Create Safe Workplaces

Student Perspective:

My Thoughts on Harassment as an HR Student Jahanvi Pandit

Harassment is widely known as a variety of unwelcome actions imposed by an individual that makes anyone feel annoyed or uncomfortable. Harassment can take different forms, including physical, verbal and sexual, to name only a few. Whether the harassment is due to personal insecurities or lack of knowledge on the topic, we can all agree that it is a prominent issue in today’s society. Having gone to a variety of schools with individuals from all facets of life, the most common type of harassment I have seen growing up was bullying. I believe bullying becomes less frequent as we grow older and hopefully wiser. This may be because as young adults, we are actively working towards the reduction of such harassment or because the larger crowds and diversity mean we do not focus on individual differences as much. After all, we are all different like each other and not

from each other, and it is refreshing to see an increasing number of people understand this. Over the years, different societal and legal interpretations of the term harassment have developed as more and more people come forward to speak up against harassment and share their own experiences. A popular opinion I have come across is that people are becoming “too sensitive” regarding the topic of harassment and are identifying behaviour once commonly accepted as inappropriate. Meanwhile, there are others who are very tolerant of issues regarding harassment and do not find the same things as offensive as others do. Indeed, the line between playfulness and harassment is thin and often perceived differently by different people. In these cases, it is up to the person offended to decide whether or not what has been said or done to them is offensive. It is not up to the person who has offended them to decide. I have seen the use of multiple mediums and channels to raise awareness about harassment in my own community as well. As a student at Ryerson University, I receive emails of any noteworthy incidents that occur on campus and appreciate that an informed community is a

safer community. Nonetheless, I feel the seriousness of the term harassment and the incidents attached to it is becoming diluted as the frequency of its use increases. As an HR student and as someone who wishes to pursue HR as a career, I can already see a few potential areas of concern for current and future HR professionals. These red flags indicate certain needs we need to strive to meet. One of the main duties of an HR professional is to ensure that the organization is able to acquire and retain the best talent. Employees spend a large chunk of their time in the workplace. It is crucial that they feel safe and comfortable in that environment. Any and all precautions must be taken to ensure they are all in a healthy atmosphere. Although we are progressing well in shedding light on the topic of harassment and trying to prevent it from happening, to be more effective, we must address attitudes about sexual harassment among men and women, and the different generations working together. It is important to note that the baby boomers grew up in an era without this level of awareness. These employees may use language without any harmful intentions but that ends up leaving the newer cohort of employees

Resource: Shaping Organizational Excellence · Spring/Summer 2018 · 13

By the Numbers

offended. This indicates a need to address this gap in the workplace by creating a strong definition of what is considered to be harassment in the workplace. This would prevent the mismatch of actions and intentions, as the culture of the workplace would be guided by the core definition, which would also explain what is and is not acceptable in the workplace. Getting the input of employees and managers in this process would allow for more clarity in the workplace as well. At the end of the day, society is going through a learning process. As HR professionals, I believe we have to implement learnings towards creating a better understanding of this topic in the workplace and in our communities. Organizations and HR professionals demonstrate their commitment to building a safer environment for their employees as they educate others on the topic and implement mediums for victims and/or bystanders to speak up safely. At this pace, I am confident that the future of the working world is in good hands. Jahanvi Pandit is currently a third year business student at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, majoring in Human Resources.

Harassment and Sexual Violence in the Workplace Public Consultations – What We Heard From Employment and Social Development Canada


he Government of Canada consulted Canadians in 2017 to find out how violence and harassment are currently treated in workplaces under federal jurisdiction and how the approach could be strengthened. The online survey component was completed by 1,205 people: 1,005 who identified as female and 200 who identified as male. Workplace statistics • 60% reported having experienced harassment • 30% said they had experienced sexual harassment • 21% said they had experienced violence • 3% said they had experienced sexual violence • 50% said they experienced the harassing or violent behaviour from an individual with authority over them • 44% said the behaviour was from a co-worker Supporting victims of incidents of harassment and violence • 23% reported their employer did not provide any supports following the most recent incident • 88% believe employers should be responsible for providing resources to employees who allegedly conducted or participated in workplace harassment or violence • 49% thought the government should be responsible • 39% thought unions should be responsible • 61% suggested counselling would be beneficial for those who allegedly conducted or participated in workplace harassment or violence Source:

14 · Working Together to Create Safe Workplaces


Tanya Sinclair, one of our new CHRE Updates from Chapter Chair Ernest Ogunleye

Keynote Speaker David Scott

Updates from now Chapter Vice Chair Catherine Claridge

Scholarship Winner Paul Noble

An engaged crowd at the ABM

Outstanding CHRL Award Winner Nancy Brandon

Member of Excellence Award Winner Arlene Walkes

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Updates from Treasurer Don Sinclair

Updates from Communications Director Gladys Saenz


The opening of the Steps for Life walk

Chapter members preparing for the walk

Our sponsorship sign en route

Showing our commitment to our community

Upcoming Events The HRPA Durham Chapter offers events to help you make connections and expand your network while you learn something new. Your participation in certain events also earns you continuing professional development hours to maintain your CHRP, CHRL or CHRE designation. We look forward to seeing you an event soon!

June 13 June 21 September 19 September 26 September 27 October 3, 10, 17, 24 October 27

Bill 148: Amendments to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 • 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. • Webinar Annual Networking Event • 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Evening Meeting) • Durham Chapter Offices President's Reception & New Member Welcome Networking • 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Evening Meeting) • Oshawa Golf and Curling Club If Not You, Who? How to Crack the Code of Employee Disengagement • 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Dinner Meeting) • Amici's Pickering Career Transition Networking Group • 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Evening Meeting) • Durham Chapter Offices Mental Health First Aid Certificate • 6:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. • Durham Chapter Offices Career Transition Networking Group • 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Evening Meeting) • Durham Chapter Offices