SAFE SPORT AND HARASSMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURES
The LWTFC will abide by the “Harassment Policy” as laid out by its governing body of Athletics Ontario (AO). See the following link for detailed content.
The following document highlights the most pertinent parts of this document for direct use by the members and parents/guardians of the LWTFC.
Harassment will be defined as any of the following: any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends or humiliates. It is a behaviour that persists over time, as well as serious one-time incidents.
B. Prohibited Behaviour
1) Discrimination: any form of unequal treatment
2) Harassment: any behaviour, including comments or actions that are known or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome
3) Neglect: chronic inattention to the basic necessities of life such as supervision, adequate rest, or safe environment
4) Poisoned Environment: created by comments or conduct that creates a discriminatory environment
5) Physical or Sexual Abuse of a Minor: when a person in a position of power or trust purposefully injures or threatens to injure a minor
6) Racism: any distinction, conduct, or action, whether intentional or not, based on a person’s race, but not imposed upon others or which withholds or limits access to benefits available to other members of society
7) Reprisal/Retaliation: action or behaviour towards an individual who has complained of being harassed, who has reported witnessing harassment or who has been involved in a harassment complaint or investigation
8) Sexual and gender-based Harassment: action or behaviour resulting in gender-related comments about a person, unwelcome physical contact, suggestive or offensive remarks, propositions of physical intimacy, rough or vulgar humour related to gender, or demands for dates or sexual favours. For a complete list, please refer to above link.
9) Sexual Solicitation: solicitations, exploitation, or advances by any person who is in a position to grant or deny benefits to the recipient of the solicitation or advance
C. Limitation Period for Complaints
If a person believes that they have been subjected to harassment within the scope of the LWTFC and/or AO Policy, then the person may proceed with a complaint:
1) Within one (1) year after the incident to which the complaint relates; or
2) If there was a series of incidents, within one (1) year after the last incident in the series
A person may proceed after the expiry of the time limit if LWTFC or AO is satisfied that the delay was incurred in good faith and without substantial prejudice to any person affected by the delay.
D. Reporting Harassment/Submitting a Complaint and Evaluation Outcomes
Members and parents/guardians who believe they are being harassed should contact the LWTFC representative(s), either the Club President and/or Manager, or another person in a position of authority to discuss the situation. There are four possible courses of action for a complainant:
1) the alleged harasser will be confronted and informed that their behaviour in question is offensive and contrary to LWTFC/AO policy; if this option is used and the behaviour ceases, no further action may be needed
2) if the complainant is uncomfortable with confronting the alleged harasser directly, then they may seek the assistance of a LWTFC representative in doing so
3) in addition to the above, the offensive behaviour may be reported by submitting a written complaint (see section G)
4) if after confronting the alleged harasser, the offensive behaviour continues, then further action will be taken, seeking the help of AO officials for resolution
E. Harassment Involving Minors
This only relates to the harassment of LWTFC members who are minors. The legal requirements to report suspected child abuse remain as well. If the complainant is a minor, the complaint may be brought forward by their parent, legal guardian, or trusted responsible adult. This individual will have the right to act on behalf of the complainant throughout the complaint process including; making a complaint, receiving all notices on behalf of the complainant, and being present at all dealings with the complainant.
F. Complaint Evaluation Procedure
After a complaint is received, the LWTFC will inform the complainant of:
1) The option of pursuing an informal resolution
2) The right to lay a formal complaint when an informal resolution is inappropriate or when an attempt at informal resolution is unsuccessful
3) The right to be represented/advised by a person of choice at any stage in the complaint process
4) The right to withdraw any further action in connection with the complaint at any stage, even though LWTFC may continue to investigate the complaint
5) The potential consequences of allegations of harassment that are fabricated, frivolous, or vexatious
6) Any other avenues of recourse including contacting the police or Human Rights Commission
G. Complaint Form
See Appendix I for a copy of the complaint form to be used in submitting a formal written complaint.
H. Investigation, Decisions, and Sanctions
Upon receiving a formal written complaint, the LWTFC will investigate the situation in a timely manner, from a neutral perspective. If they do not believe that they are able to, then they will seek the assistance of another representative who can. If they require the assistance of another representative(s) to assess the situation, they can do so, under the strictest of confidentiality. If the alleged complaint is found to be valid, disciplinary action and/or corrective measures will be taken, while considering factors such as:
1) the nature of the harassment
2) whether physical contact was involved
3) whether it is an isolated incident or an ongoing situation
4) the nature of the relationship between the complainant and the harasser
5) the age of the complainant
6) whether the harasser has a previous history of similar behaviour
7) whether the harasser admits responsibility and a willingness to change
8) if the harasser has retaliated against the complainant.
Disciplinary actions may include one or more of the following:
1) A letter of reprimand from the LWTFC
2) Referral to counseling
3) Removal of certain privileges
4) Suspension of accreditation for a specified period of time, done through the jurisdiction of
5) Suspension from competition for a specified period of time
6) Removal from the membership or coaching staff of the LWTFC
Should the investigation find that the harassment did not occur and was fabricated, frivolous, or vexatious, the same disciplinary action may be taken against the complainant.
J. Appeal Procedure
If either party believes the final decision is unfair, it may be appealed under the guidelines of the AO Appeal Process.