MAPLE LEAF THEATRE

WORKSPACE POLICY

As adapted from Canadian Actor's Equity Association

PREAMBLE

 

Artists working in live performance have a right to workspaces free from personal and sexual harassment or violence*. Maple Leaf Theatre is committed to:
(a) the pursuit of safe and respectful workspaces for artists working under its contracts; and
(b) support for those who have experienced or witnessed workspace behaviors that do not reflect these standards.
*See Appendix A for Definitions and Concepts

 

I - WHO IS COVERED BY THIS POLICY?

 

The protections under this policy apply to:
(i) Maple Leaf Cast, Crew, and Board Members both under contract and while pursuing engagements; and
(ii) non-members in the workspace who experience personal and sexual harassment or violence, from a member of Maple Leaf Theatre.

 

II - WHERE DOES THIS POLICY APPLY?

 

This policy applies to:

  1. all workspaces where artists work under a Maple Leaf Theatre contract;

  2. ​extensions to formally contracted workspaces, as determined by Maple Leaf Theatre’s ​contracts; and

  3. any additional work-related spaces such as:

      (a) transportation provided by/for Maple Leaf Theatre members

      (b) Maple Leaf Theatre organized social events;

      (c) other events related to work;

      (d) auditions;

      (e) interviews etc.

 

Note: In some circumstances, this policy may apply to interactions that occur outside of the above-listed spaces, where the interactions or their repercussions have a strong potential to impact the workspace (i.e. social events for
cast members).

 

III - WHEN DOES THIS POLICY NOT APPLY?

 

The policy does not apply to the following situations:
(i) expressing differences of opinion;
(ii) offering constructive feedback, guidance, or advice about work-related behavior and performance;
(iii) making legitimate complaints about a person’s conduct through established procedure;
(iv) providing reasonable direction to an individual in order to have the person improve his or her performance.

 

Maple Leaf Theatre recognizes its obligation to ensure that this policy and its procedures are fair. Complainants must feel free to bring their workspace issues forward. Those against whom allegations are made must have a full and fair opportunity to respond. When both the complainant and respondent are covered by the protections under this policy, Maple Leaf Theatre will listen to both parties to a complaint and provide a fair, unbiased third-party response, mediation, investigation and/or remedy as necessary.

 

V - SHARED RESPONSIBILITY

Maple Leaf Theatre, its Board, Production Team, and artists share responsibility for creating and maintaining respectful workspaces. For the Board and Production Team, that obligation is spelled out in government workplace legislation, as well as in our various contracts and policies. Artists, too, have obligations in the workspace, which are covered in law. As an organization, we have a responsibility to educate all appropriate parties on standards and
response options, and to assist those protected by this policy to achieve a timely resolution when these standards are not met.

 

VI - PREVENTION THROUGH EDUCATION

 

The primary purpose of this policy is to prevent personal and sexual harassment or violence from occurring in the first place. Where issues do arise, this policy provides a resolution-oriented process for receiving and investigating allegations of prohibited workspace behavior. To this end, Maple Leaf Theatre is committed to working to ensure that all Board Members, cast and crew are made aware of workspace expectations in this area, as well as to providing resources and fair and impartial recourse when these expectations aren’t met.

 

Maple Leaf Theatre produces specific informational material on respectful workspaces, arranges first day talks in concert with industry standards, and publishes reminders and updates through its various communication streams. Maple Leaf Theatre can also provide specific educational material for its stage managers and crew, describing inappropriate workspace behaviors under this policy, as well as frontline strategies for dealing with any issues.

 

VII - RIGHT TO GO ELSEWHERE

 

This policy provides internal mechanisms to address personal and sexual harassment or violence involving Maple Leaf Theatre members quickly and fairly. At the same time, nothing in the policy is intended to prevent or discourage a complainant from choosing an alternative resolution process or legal action. For example, human rights violations that relate to what is known as a protected ground may warrant the intervention of a provincial human rights tribunal.  More information about protected grounds can be found in Appendix A. If a complainant pursues such an alternative,
Maple Leaf Theatre may decide to terminate or suspend its internal response procedures.

 

VIII - REPRISAL

 

Maple Leaf Theatre prohibits reprisal or threat of reprisal against individuals who make use of this policy, or who participate in proceedings as part of the response process. If the Board determines that there are sufficient grounds to believe that members have engaged in reprisal or threats of reprisal, Maple Leaf Theatre may choose to commence disciplinary proceedings such as removal of the member from their position, or choosing to remove that individual from consideration of future roles in the organization.

 

IX - DEFINITION OF TERMS

 

This policy relies on the common definitions and concepts noted in Appendix A.

 

X - THE SUPPORT AND RESPONSE PROCESS

 

Maple Leaf Theatre is committed to addressing allegations of workspace issues covered by this policy, to assist in finding an appropriate resolution and, when necessary, to investigate alleged infringements. Consequences can include:
(i) reprimand;
(ii) remedial action;
(iii) suspension; or
(iv) expulsion from membership.

 

Restorative justice may also be considered as part of the resolution process. It emphasizes a non-adversarial, non-retributive approach to justice encouraging healing in victims and the meaningful accountability of offenders. In what follows, use of the singular “complainant,” “respondent” or “member” shall be understood to equally apply in the plural where such is the case. Before contacting the Board of Directors, a complainant is strongly encouraged to write down some notes on the occurrences experienced or witnessed and to gather any relevant documentation.

 

This documentation and recollection of events will be very useful in helping everyone understand the situation. Suggested guidelines for note taking appear in Appendix B at the end of this policy. The response options under this policy range from consulting with Maple Leaf Theatre, informal or formal reporting to the Artistic team, an investigation process or disciplinary action by the Board. These are not mutually exclusive as an effective response
may combine elements of all approaches.


XI - CONSULTATION WITH MAPLE LEAF THEATRE

 

Any person who experiences or witnesses personal and sexual harassment or violence is encouraged to contact the Board Representative (BR) who will listen and provide an informed and supportive strategy for addressing concerns. Initial enquiries will be answered by the BR assigned to this role. In emergency situations, any Member of the Board can also be reached via the Maple Leaf Theatre website. The BR will be able to offer general information and
present the complainant with a range of response options. He or she will:


(i) listen and make confidential notes about the workspace concern(s);
(ii) note if the complainant believes that his or her safety (or that of others) is at risk or threatened and take appropriate action;
(iii) identify that the complainant has the right to file a formal complaint with the Company, and assist with that process, if requested;
(iv) identify that the complainant has the right to withdraw from any further action at any point;
(v) identify that the complainant has the right to use avenues of recourse outside this policy, and that such action may suspend or terminate action taken within this policy;
(vi) identify the time limits which apply to the process under this policy;
(vii) address issues of confidentiality and anonymity related to this response process;
(viii) identify additional resources that Maple Leaf Theatre or sister organizations have available;
(ix) discuss with the complainant how they wish to proceed; and
(x) follow up to determine the status of the situation and provide ongoing support as needed.

Notes taken by the BR are intended to supplement the complainant’s own notes, and will be kept for at least twelve months after the last of the incidents reported. They may be retained longer if they are submitted as part of a more formal complaint process (see below), or where corroborative reports from other occurrences suggest there is a pattern of behavior warranting longer-term monitoring.

 

XII - INFORMAL RESPONSE

 

The goal of this response option is to provide support for both victims and witnesses (potential complainants) so that problematic behavior is dealt with quickly and efficiently. An informal response may be used when the issue is relatively minor in nature and may be resolved through informal discussions with the relevant parties. The BR will present a range of informal strategies for resolving the problem quickly, which may include:
(i) locating and reviewing the Maple Leaf Theatre's harassment policy;
(ii) suggesting different response mechanisms;
(iii) suggesting different approaches for discussing the concern;
(iv) contacting key production personnel on the complainant’s behalf if requested.

 

XIII - FORMAL REPORTING TO THE COMPANY
 

Companies are legally and contractually responsible for what goes on in their workspaces and have specific statutory obligations to prevent and address workplace personal and sexual harassment or violence. In some circumstances, a formal complaint to Maple Leaf Theatre may be necessary. Maple Leaf Theatre is legally required to have a formal workplace harassment policy and is required to address complaints in accordance with the policy and the law. Some examples of when a formal complaint to the Maple Leaf Theatre may be required include:

  • if the result of an informal response is unsatisfactory (does not resolve the problem or

  • if any party is dissatisfied);

  • if there has been an act of physical violence;

  • if anyone associated with the production/performance uses threatening language toward anyone else associated with the production;

  • if anyone feels pressured into divulging personal information or to engage in a personal non-platonic relationship with anyone else associated with the production;

  • if anyone commits a non-consensual sexual act or uses sexually explicit language or gestures toward anyone else associated with the production; or

  • to engage with them in a non-platonic manner.-if someone uses their position of power to get anyone associated with the production 


When there is a serious incident, a representative should immediately inform Maple Leaf Theatre and ensure the safety of everyone; ensure appropriate medical treatment is provided or sent for, if required; and contact the appropriate authorities as soon as possible. Although not an easy thing to do, formal reporting involves talking to the appropriate Board Representative.

 

The representative is available to assist and provide support in preparing and making the initial contact with the BR. The appropriate representative(s) will be identified during First Day Talks where those are required. The BR is also available for ongoing support and information. Finally, the Board will create a report once the incident has been resolved. The complainant will most likely be asked to give written details of their concern(s) –the notes taken earlier will be critically important here. The more detailed the information available to the Board, the more they have to work with in changing the situation. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the Board may suggest, as a first step, acting as a go-between in addressing the issue with the respondent. As well, some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation may be suggested. An investigation into the allegations may take place and the Board should provide an estimate of how long the process will be. Ask for a time line estimate if none is provided. The investigation will involve the complainant, the person against whom the alleged complaint was laid (the respondent), and any other individuals who can help the investigator understand what took place.

 

XIV - FILING A DISCIPLINARY COMPLAINT WITH BOARD

 

If the person who is the subject of the complaint is a Production team or Board member, the complainant may be able to file a formal complaint with Board against the offending member. However, the Board’s complaint protocol is a general disciplinary process for unprofessional member behavior and is not intended for responding immediately to workspace issues.

 

Complaints shall be made in writing, signed by the complainant, and delivered to the Board President. During the preliminary review, and in submitting the complaint to the Board, the President will take all reasonable steps to preserve the privacy of both the complainant and respondent. The Board’s complaint process involves the Board meeting either in person or virtually to discuss the complaint, where, if directly involved as Complainant or Respondent, the Board member may recuse themselves from the investigation, and the process may involve referring the case to a third-party human resources professional for mediation or investigation and resolution.
 

*Note: Where it is determined that the nature of the complaint is such that outside authorities, such as the police, must be notified, the President may take further action on the complaint in abeyance pending completion of any
other process.

 

POLICY ADMINISTRATION

 

Maple Leaf Theatre will administer this policy on an ongoing basis, with an emphasis on education and proactive monitoring, and updating as needed to keep the policy current and effective. The following elements are key to the administration of this policy. 

 

XV - OBLIGATIONS & SIGNIFICANT RISK

 

When Maple Leaf Theatre determines that a workspace situation poses a significant risk to those exposed to it, it will act prudently and to the best of its ability to address this situation. This may mean that the procedures outlined in this policy, including those specifying confidentiality, will be set aside. Maple Leaf Theatre has an obligation to investigate potential workspace harassment, workspace violence or workspace sexual harassment even in the absence of a formal complaint. If an allegation is such that an outside agency, such as the police, would be a more appropriate avenue for response, Maple Leaf Theatre may refer or recommend referral of the matter and suspend any further internal response.

 

XVI - TIMELINESS

 

The absolute best way to effectively address an alleged workspace problem is to respond quickly. Once a production has closed, it becomes increasingly difficult to respond in a meaningful and effective way. Maple Leaf Theatre encourages anyone wishing to act under this policy to take the earliest possible opportunity to contact the BR.

 

XVII - TRAINING

 

Maple Leaf Theatre will arrange for its BRs to receive initial and periodic renewal training specifically geared toward response and support on the workspace issues addressed in this policy, as well as support and assistance for carrying out these responsibilities. Replacements, as needed, will be appointed and trained in a timely manner. Board Representatives and other relevant staff will also be trained in managing the initial contact with complainants.

 

XVIII - CONFIDENTIALITY

 

Maple Leaf Theatre understands that it is difficult to come forward with a complaint of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment or discrimination. Production staff, Members of the Board and third-party professionals involved in a workplace complaint will maintain confidentiality except as necessary to protect company members, investigate complaints and take corrective action or as otherwise required by law. Those involved in the investigation, including
witnesses, will be advised that all information discussed during the proceedings will, to the extent possible, be handled discreetly in order to ensure a fair process for all parties involved. 

 

Records pertaining to any application of this policy will be held in strict confidence, separate from other member information. Only records of formal reprimand or discipline will be maintained. For matters addressed through a disciplinary complaint with the Board, a final report on any action taken may be prepared for the Board record and a summary report (edited to be consistent with privacy legislation) may also be published.


XIX - ANONYMITY

 

Confidentiality does not mean anonymity. It may be possible, in some circumstances, to maintain the anonymity of a party to a complaint. However, a fundamental principle of fairness in complaint proceedings is that the respondent must be able to knowledgeably address the details of a complaint, and that will likely involve informing them of the identity of the complainant. Maple Leaf Theatre will work to ensure mechanisms and strategies to address and respond to concerns and fears of reprisal as per provisions under Obligations & Significant Risk above.

 

XX - CONFLICT OF INTEREST

 

A BR may not work with both the respondent and complainant on an issue; two BRs must be assigned. Similarly, BRs may not serve on a matter, in which they have a personal relationship with one of the parties or where involvement might place them in any other conflict of interest.

 

XXI - IMPACT vs. INTENT

 

In all matters of gauging alleged negative workspace behaviors, the impact of the behavior or condition will be considered to be of primary importance, rather than the intent behind the behavior or condition.


XXII - WITHDRAWING A COMPLAINT

 

A complainant may withdraw a complaint at any stage in the response process. However, Maple Leaf Theatre may continue to act on the issue identified in the complaint in order to comply with its obligations under law, negotiated agree mentor Council policy.


XXIII - COMPLAINTS MADE IN BAD FAITH

 

Complaints which are trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith will result in prompt termination of the response process.

 

XXIV - POLICY REVIEW

 

The Board of Directors will review this policy at least every three years. The policy may also be reviewed and revised as appropriate (e.g. In the case of a significant revision of an agreement or applicable legislation, or as a result of finding that a procedure contained in the policy is either contrary to legal practices or inoperable).

 

XXV - COLLECTION OF DATA/ANNUAL REPORT

 

The BRs will gather information, including information from mediation and arbitration procedures, and prepare an annual report of aggregate data, types of claims, etc. (without identifying details) for the Board to include and review as part of the Boards monitoring cycle.


XXVI - COSTS

 

Maple Leaf Theatre shall be responsible for the costs of the administration of this policy including the costs of any mediation or investigation services, incurred by Maple Leaf Theatre on behalf of those protected by the policy. All parties retaining independent legal counsel or assistance shall do so at their own expense.


XXVII - ACCOMMODATIONS FOR FORMAL AND INFORMAL COMPLAINTS PROCESSES

 

In order to ensure procedural equity and so that parties can fully access and participate in the complaints and resolution procedures outlined above, Maple Leaf Theatre will ensure accommodation of the special needs of all persons involved (e.g. documents in alternative formats, off-site and after-hour meetings, interpretation and translation).

 

Appendix A


DEFINITIONS AND CONCEPTS


The following definitions and concepts are those most commonly used in creating workspace standards and in identifying workspace issues. They may, however, be added to or altered by legislated or negotiated standards in a given workspace. Please understand these definitions to be a guideline, and that they may not be comprehensive.

 

PERSONAL HARASSMENT

 

Harassment means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. For the purpose of this policy, harassment includes comment or conduct initiated by one person towards another, which causes humiliation, offence or embarrassment, or which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the person’s work and/or creating an intimidating, humiliating, hostile or offensive environment. Ordinarily, repeated comment or conduct is required to demonstrate harassment, however single acts of sufficient severity may also constitute harassment.

Harassment may include, but is not limited to:

  • physically intimidating behavior and/or threats;

  • use of profanity (swearing), vulgarity; ridiculing, taunting, belittling or humiliating another person;

  • derogatory name-calling;

  • inappropriate or insulting remarks, gestures, jokes, innuendo or taunting;

  • unwanted questions or comments about a person’s private life;

  • posting or display of materials, articles or graffiti etc. (including social media/online), which may cause humiliation, offence or embarrassment.

  • Bullying is a distinct form of personal harassment and may include some of the following loud, abusive behavior;

  • unjustified criticism;

  • shunning behaviors (including withholding information, ganging up, deliberate isolation from colleagues or exclusion from joint activities);

  • repeated delegation of demeaning tasks.

 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  1. Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct 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

  2. 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 and that person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome. Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:

  • reprisal or threat of reprisal for the rejection of a sexual solicitation or advance, where the reprisal is made by a person in a position to grant, confer, or deny a benefit or advancement;

  • unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendo or taunting about a person’s body, attire, gender or sexual orientation;

  • unwanted touching or any unwanted or inappropriate physical contact; such as touching, kissing, patting, hugging or pinching;

  • unwelcome enquiries or comments about a person’s sex life or sexual preference;

  • leering, whistling or other suggestive or insulting sounds;

  • making sexual or romantic solicitations or advances to a co-worker after it has been made clear by the co-worker that such solicitations and advances are unwelcome;

  • inappropriate comments about clothing, physical characteristics or activities;

  • posting or display of materials, articles or graffiti etc. (including social media/online) that is sexually oriented;

  • requests or demands for sexual favors, which include or strongly imply promises of rewards for complying and/or threats of punishment for refusal.


DISCRIMINATION


Harassment may also relate to a form of discrimination as set out in federal or provincial human rights legislation, which prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of certain protected grounds. Consult the applicable federal and provincial legislation for the specific list of protected grounds.


SYSTEMIC HARASSMENT/DISCRIMINATION


Systemic harassment or discrimination includes policies, practices, procedures, actions or inactions that may appear neutral, but which effectively create conditions of discrimination or harassment. These practices are often embedded in an institution or sector, and may be invisible to the people who do not experience it, and even to the people who may be affected by it. To combat systemic harassment/discrimination, it is essential for an organization or sector to create a climate in which the diverse needs of people are considered in all aspects of operations, and negative practices and attitudes can be challenged and discouraged.


NEGATIVE/POISONOUS/TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT

 

Any or all of the above conditions can have the effect of poisoning the work environment for everyone. A person does not have to be a direct target of harassing or discriminatory behavior to be adversely affected by a negative environment.


REPRISAL

 

Reprisal involves any adverse action taken against an individual because he or she reported unwelcome behavior, complained to an engager about unwelcome behavior in the workspace, or participated in an investigation or legal proceeding relating to a complaint, including as a witness. Reprisal also includes adverse action taken against someone who is associated with the individual opposing the unwelcome behavior, such as a family member.


Examples of reprisal include:

  • termination from the production

  • denial of future work opportunities

  • any other adverse action that would discourage a reasonable person from opposing the unwelcome behavior


PROTECTED GROUNDS


The Canadian Human Rights Act of 1977 protects people in Canada from discrimination.

Provincial and territorial human rights laws share many similarities with the Canadian Human Rights Act and apply many of the same principles. However, it is important to be aware of the specific grounds within your province’s legislation. They protect people from discrimination in areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction, such as restaurants, stores, schools, housing and most workplaces. The 11 grounds of discrimination protected under the Act are:

 

  • race

  • national or ethnic origin

  • colour

  • religion

  • age

  • sex

  • sexual orientation

  • marital status

  • family status

  • disability

  • a conviction for which a pardon has been granted or a record suspension has been ordered

 

Appendix B

GUIDELINES FOR WORKSPACE NOTES

 

The following are guidelines for complainant notes and forms. The notes taken are intended to provide a clear and durable record of workspace occurrences that contravene workspace policies. Since any response process will necessarily involve people who were not present “in the room” when the situation occurred, being able to bring those people up to speed is important. The BR can provide guidance during the documentation process, as some people may find it difficult to create a detailed account of their experience. The more that is known,
the better positioned Maple Leaf Theatre will be. Notes should include:


- name of the respondent (person about whom the complaint is being made)

- details on the occurrence(s) in narrative or point form format explaining the incident and impact it had

- location, time and date of the occurrence(s)

- names of any witnesses to the occurrence(s)

- section of policy that the complainant feels has been contravened by the respondent

- form of harassment that has taken place

- preferred (if any) solution to resolving the issue

- any relevant documentation (either that the complainant has or believes to exist)

 

Appendix C

 

COMPLAINT AND DISCIPLINARY PROCESS

 

A report of an incident of alleged workspace harassment to Maple leaf Theatre must include the following information.

1. Personal Contact Information – Complainant

2. Personal Contact Information – Respondent

3. General Grounds for Complaint

    - an act of harassment on a prohibited ground

    - an act of personal harassment

    - an act of sexual harassment

    - an act of violence

4. Specifics of the Complaint

    - What happened

    - Who was involved

    - When it happened (day, month, year)

    - Where it happened

5. Documents Supporting the Complaint

6. Confidential List of Witnesses

7. Steps Already Taken to Resolve the Complaint

8. Declaration of Complaint