Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Policies

The company endorses without qualification the following principles:

  • fairness
  • openness
  • honesty and integrity
  • tolerance
  • diversity

The company’s policies and practices are to be guided by these principles in the workplace; during the process of hiring of new employees; and in activities outside the workplace that may relate to the company’s operations.

The company’s policies specifically preclude negative discrimination of all sorts, including (but not limited to) negative discrimination on the basis of the following: age, sex, race, ancestry, religion, family status, marital or relationship status, ethnicity, citizenship, gender identity or expression, age, record of offenses, disability, socioeconomic class, height, weight, or sexual orientation. Discrimination 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.

The company is open to taking positive account of such categories as the above-listed in some circumstances (for example, during the hiring process), in the interests of fostering greater diversity in the work environment.

As those guidelines emphasise, the goal throughout should be for everyone involved to:

  • show dignity and respect for one another
  • encourage mutual recognition of interests, rights and obligations
  • facilitate maximum recognition of rights, wherever possible
  • help parties to understand the scope of their rights and obligations
  • address stigma and power imbalances and help to give marginalized individuals and groups a voice
  • encourage cooperation and shared responsibility for finding agreeable solutions that maximize enjoyment of rights.

The company is dedicated to maintaining a workplace environment in which sexual and other forms of harassment have no place. Examples of actions to be avoided include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Violent behavior (including not only outright physical violence but also verbal assault, aggressive behavior giving rise to a reasonable fear of bodily harm, threats of any nature, etc.)
  • Using epithets, remarks, jokes or innuendos that disparage any given race, gender identity, gender expression, sex, disability, sexual orientation, creed, or age
  • Posting or circulating offensive pictures, graffiti or materials, whether in print or electronic form
  • Singling out a person for humiliating or demeaning “teasing” or jokes
  • Making unwelcome gender-related comments about a person’s physical characteristics or mannerisms
  • Making unwelcome physical contact or propositions of physical intimacy
  • Verbal abuse, threats or taunting
  • Using rough and vulgar humour or otherwise offensive language related to a person’s gender and/or sexuality
  • Leering or inappropriate staring
  • Bragging about sexual prowess or questions or discussions about sexual activities
  • Making demands for dates or sexual favours

As the list above suggests, in maintaining an environment that is characterized by a spirit of fairness, openness, diversity, and tolerance, it is not only the most extreme things that are important. Off-the-cuff unthinking comments that may be meant to be amusing are nevertheless inappropriate if they are derogatory—derogatory towards any group on the basis of (but not limited to) the following: age, sex, race, religion, family status, or sexual orientation. Such comments should have no place either in the workplace or outside it. 

Reporting: Employees are encouraged to bring any matter of concern pertaining to the above principles, any suspected instance of dishonest or fraudulent practice, (or indeed, any serious matter of any other sort) to the attention of their supervisor or to the attention of the company president.

We encourage anyone who has a complaint against a Freehand Books staff member, executive, contactor, consultant or editor at any time to please contact the company president. If the company president has a personal interest in the matter to be discussed, a party may contact Alberta Labour.

Other available resources are available online at https://www.alberta.ca/workplace-harassment-violence.aspx

Anyone with concerns can also call Occupational Health and Safety at (780) 415-8690, or toll-free at
1-866-415-8690.

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