Respectful Workplace Policy

Updated: November 2021


The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) is committed to providing a positive working environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. The National Screen Institute recognizes its responsibility to build and maintain an inclusive, respectful workplace, free from all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment, in which the dignity and self-respect of every person is valued. A respectful workplace requires cooperation and support from each and every individual. Everyone has a responsibility to set a positive example and behave in a manner which will not reasonably offend, intimidate, embarrass or humiliate others, whether deliberate or unintentional.

This policy will be included in the National Screen Institute Employee Handbook and on the National Screen Institute website at:


This policy applies to all employees of the National Screen Institute – regardless of employment status – contractors, service providers, volunteers, visitors, students, interns, board members, faculty and associate faculty who are referred to throughout this policy as ‘employees’ and ‘workers.’ Employer representation includes: CEO, board chairperson or their designate.


Complaint – is a formal allegation of harassment, violence and/or discrimination.

Harassment – a course of abusive and unwelcome conduct or comment undertaken or made on the basis of any protected characteristics as defined below. Harassment is any behaviour that degrades, demeans, humiliates, or embarrasses a person, and that a reasonable person should have known would be unwelcome. It includes actions (eg. touching, pushing), comments (eg. jokes, name-calling) or displays (eg. posters, cartoons).

The behaviour need not be intentional to be considered harassment. Conduct constituting workplace harassment includes a written or verbal comment, a physical act or gesture or a display, or any combination of them.

Discrimination  differential treatment of an individual or group on the basis of any protected characteristic, rather than on personal merit.

Protected characteristics

Personal harassment (bullying)

Personal harassment (bullying) is defined as severe conduct that adversely affects a worker’s psychological or physical well-being. Conduct is severe if it could reasonably cause a worker to be humiliated or intimidated and is repeated or, in the case of a single occurrence, has a lasting, harmful effect on a worker. It can include:

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment includes offensive or humiliating behaviour that is related to a person’s gender or sex, as well as behaviour of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or ‘poisoned’ work environment, or that could reasonably be thought to put sexual conditions on a person’s job or employment opportunities. A few examples are: questions and discussions about a persons’ sexual life; persisting in asking for a date after having been refused; writing sexually suggestive letters or notes. Sexual harassment often occurs in situations where there is unequal power between the people involved.


Violence is the attempted or actual exercise of physical force against a person and any threatening statement or behaviour that gives a person reasonable cause to believe that physical force will be used against the person.


Microaggressions include statements, actions, or incidents regarded as indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group (ex. women, transgender, nonbinary; LGBTQ2S*; racialized; ethnocultural; people with disabilities) that may cause harm or distress over time. Microaggressions may contribute to an individual’s experience of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination.

Toxic work environment

Toxic / poisonous / unwelcome work environments are situations where any or all of the above conditions can have the effect of poisoning or making the work environment harmful for everyone. A person does not have to be a direct target of harassment or discriminatory behaviour to be adversely affected by a negative environment.


The National Screen Institute has developed an organization-wide policy intended to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that no worker is subjected to harassment or violence in the workplace, and to deal quickly and effectively with any incident that might occur.

This policy applies to the workplace itself in addition to activities connected with the workplace such as travel, conferences, work-related social gatherings, interactions at a client’s or co-worker’s home / work site. It also applies to interactions between employees and interactions between employees, contractors, service providers, formal partners, volunteers, visitors, students, interns, board members, faculty and associate faculty. This policy does not limit the employer’s right to manage. Performance reviews, work assignment and evaluation, and disciplinary measures taken by the employer for any valid reason do not constitute disrespectful behaviour or harassment in the workplace.

Individuals who experience harassment or violence should not assume that the National Screen Institute is aware of the situation. If an individual feels that they are being harassed or the subject of workplace violence, or has witnessed any such behaviour, the individual is to advise NSI as soon as reasonably possible. The procedures for reporting workplace harassment and violence are set out below in this policy.

Harassing or violent behaviour can occur on the National Screen Institute’s premises or in the pursuit of a business activity off NSI’s premises. This policy applies to all persons who are employed at NSI, as well as to third parties while they are on NSI’s property or are participating in NSI-sponsored or work-related activity, regardless of which province or territory the activity occurs in.

Making a complaint and other considerations

An employee complaint of harassment or violence can be made orally or in writing or directly to their supervisor. Should the supervisor be the object of the complaint, the complaint should be made to the CEO, Director of Finance or Safety Representative.

All complaints will be taken seriously and will be dealt with fairly and promptly. Employees must cooperate in any such investigation.

In the case of an incident of violence, employees and their supervisor will assess the risk associated with the situation and complete the incident report form available from their supervisor. The form must be completed for all incidents of violence, whether there is actual violence or a threatening situation where there is a reasonable expectation that it may become violent, and regardless of whether there is actual injury.

In the event immediate assistance is required when an incident of violence occurs or is likely to occur, the employee or supervisor shall call 911.

If an employee has been harmed as a result of an incident of violence at the workplace, the employee will be:

The National Screen Institute recommends that a worker who has been harmed as a result of an incident of violence at the workplace is advised to consult the worker’s health care provider for treatment or referral for post-incident counselling, if appropriate.

Investigating complaints of harassment and/or violence

Where a complaint is received, or a violent incident occurs, an investigation will be performed by an independent third party, designated by the CEO and approached in an unbiased manner.

The complainant and the respondent are both entitled to a fair process and will both be informed of the process, progress and results of the investigation in writing by the Independent third party. The complainant and the respondent will both be interviewed, as well as any other witnesses deemed relevant to the investigation.

Given the sensitivity of such matters, the National Screen Institute will do its best to preserve confidentiality throughout the process during the investigation and will not disclose the name of the complainant or respondent unless necessary to investigate the complaint or take corrective action with respect to the complaint, or where required by law. If personal information must be disclosed, it will be the minimum amount necessary for the purpose.

The National Screen Institute shall, on completion of the investigation:

This policy is not intended to discourage or prevent a complainant from exercising any other legal rights, actions or remedies pursuant to any other law. Pursuant to legislation, employees have the right to file a complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.

Notification of employees of a risk of violence

When an actual incident of violence has occurred or when a situation occurs that could reasonably be expected to become violent, the National Screen Institute will take the following steps to ensure the safety of all employees:

Where a violent situation occurs or appears likely to occur, help should be summoned by calling 911, and employees should take all reasonable steps to protect their personal safety and remove themselves from a violent situation if possible.

Workplace violence training

The National Screen Institute shall provide information, instruction and training on the factors that contribute to workplace violence and the risks of workplace violence to each employee that may be exposed to a risk of workplace violence.

The National Screen Institute shall provide information, instruction and training:

The information, instruction and training shall include the following:

Unless otherwise prohibited by law, in providing information, instruction and training on risks of violence, the information will include any information in the National Screen Institute’s possession, including personal information, related to the risk of violence from persons who have a history of violent behaviour and whom workers are likely to encounter in the course of their work. The personal information provided will be the minimum required to accomplish the purpose.

At least once every three years, and in either of the following circumstances, the National Screen Institute shall review and update, if necessary, the information, instruction and training provided:

The National Screen Institute shall maintain signed records, in paper or electronic form, on the information, instruction and training provided to each employee with respect to this policy.

Annually, the National Screen Institute will prepare a report that compiles the records of incidents of violence to a worker in the workplace (if any), the results of any investigation into an incident of violence, including a copy of investigation reports prepared and details of recommended and implemented control measures. This report will be provided to the workplace safety committee or health and safety representative, as the case may be.

Steps to eliminate or minimize the risk of violence

Having consulted with the entire staff, it was determined that no risks of violence could reasonably be expected to occur within the present work areas and job functions.

Future risks will be dealt with as they are identified in a risk assessment conducted in conjunction with the safety representative.

No retaliation

Retaliation or reprisals of any kind against employees who file complaints under this policy will not be tolerated. Regardless of the outcome of a harassment or violence complaint made in good faith, retaliation or reprisals against the complainant, as well as anyone providing information in the course of investigating a complaint, is not acceptable. Complaints of retaliation and reprisal will be investigated, and those found to be engaging in retaliatory behavior will be the subject of discipline, up to and including dismissal.

Frivolous, malicious and/or deliberately false complaints will also result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Documentation of such complaints may be placed in the complainant’s personnel file.

Resolution process

Speak to the other person

An impacted individual should approach the person who made them feel uncomfortable, calmly explain how their behaviour affected them and ask that the behaviour stop. The other person may not realize their behaviour has been offensive and the feedback may give them the opportunity to change their actions. Should an individual require advice or support on how to approach the other person, their immediate supervisor or National Screen Institute staff may be able to assist. Should an employee wish, their immediate supervisor may accompany them when they approach the other person.

Individuals who witness behaviour that may be contrary to this policy should, if they so desire, safely and appropriately intervene. If they choose not to intervene, the individual must report their observations to their immediate supervisor. The employer cannot address a problem unless they are aware that a problem exists.

Report incidents of workplace harassment and violence

If an employee is unable to approach the other person, or if the employee has approached the other person but the issue remains unresolved, the employee must report their concern.

The concern can be reported verbally or in writing to the employee’s immediate supervisor or the CEO. If the issue involves the employee’s immediate supervisor, the employee may report it to another level of management, up to and including the board chairperson and CEO. If the issue involves a non-employee, it can be reported verbally or in writing to the CEO or board chairperson.

Issues should be reported as soon as is reasonably possible, normally within six months of the incident occurring.

Participate in the resolution process

The person to whom the issue is reported will, in consultation with the board chairperson and CEO, determine if the allegations constitute a breach of the policy and, if so, will endeavour to resolve the matter in an expeditious and confidential manner. Every issue reported and all actions taken to resolve the issue must be documented.

Most issues can be resolved between the parties involved with subsequent monitoring by management to ensure there is no recurrence or retaliation. Options for resolution may include facilitated discussion, mediation or education depending on the circumstances.

Not every reported issue warrants a formal investigation. In situations that pose a serious threat to the health and safety of the employee or others, or where allegations are denied or discipline is likely, a formal investigation may be required. An independent third party will conduct any formal investigation that is launched.

An investigation generally includes:

The complainant and respondent may be accompanied by legal counsel during the investigation process should it be deemed necessary.

Following the conclusion of an investigation, a summary of the investigator’s report will be provided to the board chairperson and CEO, who will share it with the executive committee of the board if appropriate, while taking necessary steps to ensure confidentiality.

The employer will also advise the complainant and the respondent of the results of the investigation in writing, while respecting privacy. The employer has the authority to dismiss the complaint, determine appropriate discipline and / or take any action which may be necessary to resolve the issue. The details of any discipline administered will not be provided to the complainant or any witness interviewed in the investigation.

If a person is found to have engaged in activities contrary to this policy, whether through an investigation or through direct observation, the employer will take corrective action, which may include disciplinary measures up to and including dismissal.

Resolution practices

Timeliness – reported issues will be resolved as soon as reasonably possible. Investigations, where required, will be completed and results communicated as soon as is reasonably possible.

Should significant delays in the investigation be unavoidable, the respondent and complainant will normally be advised.

Workplace restoration – following the resolution of a reported issue, the immediate supervisor is responsible for ongoing monitoring to ensure this policy is followed.

Confidentiality – all parties will keep the details of any reported issue confidential to the best of their ability. However, confidentiality does not mean anonymity.

Confidentiality is subject to the following limitations:

These limitations on confidentiality should not discourage employees from reporting a concern.

The employer will not disclose the name of a complainant, alleged respondent or the circumstances related to the issue to any person except where the disclosure is necessary to investigate, take corrective action or is required by law.

At the request of the respondent, the employer may inform the individuals who were involved with the investigation that inappropriate conduct was found not to have taken place. This may be necessary where the reputation of the respondent was negatively affected by the complaint or investigation.

Reprisal – there shall be no reprisal against an employee who, in good faith, exercises rights under this policy. Reprisal is an actual or threatened harmful act. Reprisal not only involves penalizing someone, it can also be the withholding of a benefit.

False allegations – if it is determined that a complaint was deliberately made for frivolous or vindictive reasons, the employee making the allegation may be subject to discipline. This does not apply to complaints made in good faith but which are not proven.

Rights – this policy is not intended to discourage or prevent an employee from exercising any legal right, including filing a complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission or the police.

Breach – a breach of this policy may result in disciplinary and/or legal action up to and including termination. Employees / board members / volunteers may also be held personally liable for damages caused by any violations of this policy.

Should more information be required about this policy, please contact Liz Hover, Director of Operations ( 



Updated: November 2021