Policy 2.2.15: Anti-Discrimination and Harassment

Effective Date: February 1, 2010
Responsibility: Vice-President, People and Culture


CBC/Radio-Canada’s Commitment:

  • provide an inclusive workplace environment free of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment,
  • support the productivity, personal goals, dignity and self respect of all its employees and potential employees, and
  • promote sensitivity to individual differences.

CBC/Radio-Canada will make every reasonable effort to ensure that no employee is subjected to discrimination and harassment in the workplace. In particular, CBC/Radio-Canada accepts responsibility to ensure that its policies, practices, work arrangements and facilities do not have unlawful discriminatory effects on those individuals protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Further, CBC/Radio-Canada will not tolerate any behaviour, including from independent contractors and other individuals with whom CBC/Radio-Canada does business, that conflicts with the spirit or intent of the Canadian Human Rights Act, or any other human rights laws that are applicable to CBC/Radio-Canada’s operations within or outside Canada.


This policy applies to all CBC/Radio-Canada employees.


The CBC/Radio-Canada considers all forms of discrimination, including discriminatory and sexual harassment, to be unacceptable; will not tolerate its occurrence; and will make every reasonable effort to ensure that no employee is subjected to it.

As per the definitions below, discriminatory and sexual harassment are specific forms of discrimination.

Further, for any violence or threats of violence in the workplace, please refer to CBC/Radio-Canada’s Workplace Violence Policy.


1) Discrimination means:

  • denying an individual employment, or goods and services, based on a prohibited ground as described below; or
  • differentiating adversely between individuals in the course of employment, or in the provision of goods and services, based on a prohibited ground as described below.

Prohibited grounds are described as:

Age Family status
Race Marital status
Colour Sexual Orientation
Religion Pardoned conviction
National or Ethnic Origin Mental or physical disability
Sex (including pregnancy and childbirth) Gender identity or expression

2) Discriminatory Harassment means:
Any conduct, comment, gesture or contact based on any of the prohibited grounds, listed above:

  • that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any employee or customer, or
  • might reasonably be perceived as placing a condition on employment, employment opportunities (e.g. training, promotion) or the provision of goods and services.

Discriminatory harassment will have taken place if it is known or ought to have reasonably been known that the behaviour in question was unwelcome or inappropriate in the workplace.

Examples include:

  • unwelcome remarks, jokes or taunts about an individual’s racial background, colour, place of birth, citizenship or ancestry (or other prohibited ground);
  • display of derogatory, racist or offensive pictures or material
  • the refusal to work with an individual on the basis of his or her racial background (or other prohibited ground)

For other forms of harassment that do not involve one of the prohibited grounds listed above, please refer to CBC/Radio-Canada’s Policy 2.2.21: Code of Conduct and/or where applicable, the Respect in the Workplace provisions contained in one’s collective agreement.

3) Sexual Harassment means:

As defined in the Canada Labour Code:

“ any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any employee; or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by that employee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or promotion.

Sexual harassment, which is a specific form of discriminatory harassment, is generally comprised of objectionable and offensive behaviour that may occur once or repeatedly.

Examples include:

  • unwelcome advances, flirtations, jokes or propositions of a sexual nature;
  • unwanted requests for sexual favours by a person in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement;
  • sexually degrading words, images or other material;
  • conduct of a sexual nature, including leering, pinching, touching and patting.

Mechanisms for Redress:
Where remedial action is recommended, it will be implemented as soon as reasonably possible after the conclusion of a thorough internal investigation. Depending on the circumstances, there may also be longer-term initiatives, such as the development and implementation of Corporate or Departmental wide education and training activities.

The Canadian Human Rights Act also gives an employee the right to legal redress. A complaint for any form of discriminatory practice, including harassment, may be made before the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Further, a unionized employee may instead opt to file a grievance according to the relevant collective agreement.

Discipline and Reprisals:

Any employee whose actions are found to be in breach of this policy will be subject to a full range of disciplinary action, which may include: education and training for the various parties involved, adjustments to the work environment, various forms of apology, undertakings, warnings, suspensions, job transfers of either party or, when the circumstances warrant it, immediate termination.

If an employee raises a concern relating to discrimination, including harassment, in good faith, s/he will not be subject to retaliation nor reprisals for bringing forward his or her concern. Therefore, any person who threatens or takes actions against an employee for invoking this policy and/or for participating in the related investigation process is strictly prohibited and will be disciplined up to and including termination.


All concerns relating to discrimination, including discriminatory and sexual harassment, will be dealt with confidentially as reasonably possible.

An employee’s identity, or the circumstances regarding any concern or complaint, will not be disclosed unless disclosure is necessary for the purposes of conducting an investigation or for taking disciplinary action.

Chain of Communication for Addressing Concerns or Complaints:

Employees can address concerns or complaints relating to discrimination based on a prohibited ground, including harassment, by using the following chain of communication:

  1. If it is appropriate, the employee should tell the person who is acting in a discriminatory/harassing manner that it is offensive and request that s/he immediately stop. In some cases, this informal discussion may resolve the problem.
  2. If this is inappropriate or if the informal discussion is not resolved, then the employee should advise his or her immediate supervisor (or, if unionized, his or her union representative and/or supervisor, depending on terms of the applicable collective agreement), who shall, in turn, notify the Human Resources Manager.
  3. If advising the immediate supervisor is difficult, inappropriate or otherwise unsuccessful, then the employee should contact his or her CBC/Radio-Canada HR Manager directly.
  4. The employee will then be asked to prepare a written complaint, outlining the nature of the allegations and any important details or facts (including the name(s) of the alleged harasser(s), witnesses, dates and location of the incidents) that may assist the subsequent investigation.
  5. Upon receipt of this written complaint, the Human Resource Manager will immediately acknowledge its receipt to the employee and will meet with the employee as soon as reasonably possible.
  6. The Human Resources Manager will exercise its discretion as to whether an internal investigation is warranted and to determine its scope. Where appropriate, the Human Resources Manager may conduct an investigation even if the employee refuses to submit a written complaint.
  7. For specific information regarding the investigation process, please refer to CBC/Radio-Canada’s Guidelines to Investigation of Wrongdoing.

Human Resources Managers.


Replaces previous HR Policy:

This policy came into effect in February 2010 and was last updated in August 2018. It replaces previous policies 2.2.15 Harrassment and Personal Harrassment no. 1.1.

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