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Workplace Violence Harassment and other Unacceptable Behaviour

Workplace violence, harassment and other unacceptable behaviour

The Camrose Public Library is committed to an abuse-free work environment, characterized by respect and tolerance. Acts of violence or harassment committed by, or against, any individual(s) affiliated with this organization are considered as unacceptable conduct within the context of the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act. Any individual(s) engaging in workplace violence, sexual harassment, or other forms of harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Any patrons conducting any form of violence, harassment, or other form of unacceptable behaviour will be asked to leave the library for a period of time to be determined based on previous offences and the severity of the action committed.

Inappropriate behaviour includes, but is not limited to:

  • Threatening behaviour, such as shaking fists, destroying property, or throwing objects.
  • Verbal or written threats, including any expression of intent to inflict harm.
  • Harassment – any behaviour that demeans, embarrasses, humiliates, annoys, alarms or verbally abuses a person and that is known, or would be generally expected, to be unwelcome. This includes words, gestures, intimidation, bullying, or other inappropriate activities, including electronic communications generally disseminated.
  • Verbal abuse such as swearing, insults, and slurs.
  • Physical attacks.

Procedures for Handling Complaints

If an employee or volunteer believes they are being harassed or that an individual’s behaviour is inappropriate, the employee or volunteer shall:

1. Tell the individual their behaviour is unwelcome and inappropriate and ask him/her to stop. Depending on the response of the individual, immediate recourse could involve the individual being asked to leave. The severity of the harassment will dictate the length of time that the individual is asked to leave for. In cases of severe harassment, further escalation will lead to the police being contacted. In the case of more minor incidents (such as when dealing with individuals showing disrespect who refuse to change their behaviour):
- The first time an individual is asked to leave, it will be for the duration of that day. If the behaviour happens within an hour of closing, the individual will be banned for the following day.
- The second time an individual is asked to leave, they will not be permitted to return to the library for one week.
- The third time a patron has been asked to leave, they will not be permitted to return to the library for one month.
- The fourth time a patron is asked to leave, they will not be permitted to return to the library for one year.
- If a patron is asked to leave a fifth time, they will not be permitted to return for five years.

2. If a patron is asked to leave the library and either refuses to leave the premises or attempts to re-enter before the amount of time for their ban has passed, the increase of time for their ban will automatically increase to the next level. If necessary, the police will be contacted to provide the individual with a trespass notice.

3. Keep a record of incidents (dates, times, location, possible witnesses, what happened, and the employee’s own response). This will assist other staff in establishing whether the banned individual is breaking their ban by returning, or whether their inappropriate behaviour is a repeat of previous instances. In the case of banning being conducted for individuals 18 and under, ask their name as they are leaving so that we can contact their parents. The employee or volunteer does not have to have a record of events in order to file a complaint in the case of being personally harrassed, but such a record can strengthen their case and assist them in remembering details over time.

4. In the case of harassment, file a written complaint if, after asking the harasser to stop, the harassment continues. The employee should report the problem to the Director of the Camrose Public Library as soon as possible and without fear of reprisal.

5. The Director of the Camrose Public Library will promptly and thoroughly investigate the complaint and will inform the Camrose Public Library Board.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the actions taken by the Director of the Camrose Public Library, the individual experiencing the alleged harassment may file a written complaint with the Camrose Public Library Board. The Camrose Public Library Board will thoroughly investigate the complaint and take appropriate action.

6. If the complainant is not satisfied with the action taken by the Camrose Public Library Board, they may appeal directly to the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission.

Appendix: COVID-19 Considerations

Inappropriate behaviours considering restrictions in place as a result of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to:

  • Entering the library while feeling or showing signs of illness, in particular a cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat.
  • Entering the library while one is supposed to be isolating, such as in the case when an individual has returned from traveling and should be conducting 14 days of quarantine.
  • Showing disregard for COVID-19 regulations in regard to sanitation, such as refusing to sanitize ones hands or coughing or sneezing into open air instead of into one’s elbow or a tissue, and refusing to address this behaviour when asked.
  • Showing disregard for social distancing policies in place and consistently being in inappropriate proximity to other patrons or staff.
  • Staff and the Public are required to wear a mask. This applies to anyone 10 years of age and up. Medical exemptions apply. This will allow our staff and the public enough time to vaccinate if they wish to do so. This policy expires on August 7 2021.

Approval Date:  October 2013

Amended: November 15, 2016, June 2020, July 2021

Revision/Review Date: June 2022

Approval Signature: __________________________________________________________

                                                         Camrose Public Library Board Chair