Diversity and Harassment Policies

Diversity Policy

ABS maintains a policy of non-discrimination towards all employees and applicants for employment and learners. As an equal opportunity employer, the Institute will treat all its employee, potential employees and learners equally irrespective of the nine grounds below:

• Gender
• Marital status
• Family status
• Age
• Race
• Disability
• Religion
• Sexual orientation
• Membership of the traveller community

Harassment Policy

ABS affirms that harassment because of sex, race, colour, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, veteran’s status, pregnancy, or any other protected classification is detrimental to its mission, standards and values. ABS endeavours to take steps reasonably necessary to prevent such behaviour from occurring, including providing education and training to faculty, staff, and students as to their rights and responsibilities, informing persons of the appropriate procedures for reporting inappropriate behaviour, promptly investigating complaints, and imposing appropriate sanctions.

For purposes of this policy, “harassment” means any intentional unwelcome, unsolicited, and offensive conduct that tends to injure, degrade, disgrace, or show hostility toward a person because of sex, race, colour, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by law from the nine grounds.

Racial Harassment is unwanted conduct of a racial nature or other conduct based on race affecting the dignity of women and men at work. This can include unwelcome physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct.

Sexual Harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, or other conduct based on sex affecting the dignity of women and men at work. This can include unwelcome physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct. For purposes of applying this policy, “sexual” harassment includes conduct that is of a sexual nature or related to a person’s gender and may include persons of the same sex.

Harassment on the grounds of sexuality is unwanted conduct on the grounds of an employee’s sexuality which affecting the dignity of women and men at work. This can include unwelcome physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct.

Harassment on the grounds of disability is any behaviour on the grounds of an employee’s disability that affects the dignity of women and men at work. This can include unwelcome physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct.

A complaint will be reviewed under the totality of the circumstances to determine whether or not a violation has occurred and the severity of the violation. This will include examining such factors as the nature of the conduct, the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred, whether the conduct was solicited or invited, and the frequency, severity, and impact of the conduct on the victim. In order to find a violation the conduct must be both objectively unwelcome and offensive to a reasonable person and, in fact, perceived as such by the complaining party.

False complaints: Any person who, in bad faith, files a false complaint or provides false information to University officials investigating a complaint shall be deemed to have violated this policy. This is not in any way meant to discourage legitimate complaints or consultation.

Retaliation: The Institute will not tolerate retaliation against any person who in good faith makes a harassment complaint, exercises his/her rights under this policy, or cooperates or participates in any internal or external investigation or proceedings. Retaliation constitutes a violation of this policy.

Confidentiality: ABS recognizes the sensitive nature of harassment complaints. It endeavours within this policy to respect the rights and dignity of all persons involved and to provide a neutral atmosphere in the investigation of complaints and in its efforts to end prohibited behaviour. ABS endeavours to maintain confidentiality on all matters relating to processing harassment complaints, subject to its need to effectively administer this policy.

Academic freedom: This policy shall be applied in a manner consistent with ABS's provision on academic freedom.

Complaints: Any person who believes that s/he has been subjected to conduct prohibited under this policy may elect to pursue the matter as either an informal or a formal complaint.  An informal complaint involves discussion and counselling as the primary means by which conduct may be constructively influenced and resolution reached.  A formal complaint may result in disciplinary action against the accused.

Informal or Formal Complaints should follow the Complaints and Appeals Procedures outlined in the Student Handbook

Communication of outcome: ABS will inform the accused, complainant, and reserve the right to inform any other persons or authorities, who have a legitimate need to know of the general outcome of any informal or formal complaint.