Human Rights Policy

Octopus Garden Holistic Yoga Centre is committed to providing an environment free of discrimination and harassment, where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and where they can contribute fully and have equal opportunities.

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code), every person has the right to be free from harassment and discrimination. Harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated, condoned, or ignored at Octopus Garden Holistic Yoga Centre. The right to freedom from discrimination and harassment extends to all employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary, probationary, casual and contract staff, as well as volunteers, co-op students, interns, and apprentices. It is also unacceptable for staff to engage in harassment or discrimination when dealing with clients or with others they have professional dealings with, such as suppliers or service providers.

This policy applies at every level of the organization and to every aspect of the workplace environment and employment relationship including recruitment, selection, promotion, transfers, training, salaries, benefits, and termination. It covers rates of pay, overtime, hours of work, holidays, shift work, discipline, and performance evaluations. This policy also applies to events that occur outside of the physical workplace such as during business trips or company parties.

Employees are protected against harassment and discrimination by co-workers, management, and superiors – and they are also protected from the actions of others who enter the employment context, such as suppliers or clients. Employees are protected while off the work site or outside of normal working hours where activities are connected to the workplace.

Prohibited Behaviour

Any form of unequal treatment based on any of the Grounds of Discrimination, whether imposing extra burdens or denying benefits is discrimination. It may be intentional or unintentional. It may involve direct actions that are discriminatory on their face or it may involve rules, practices, or procedures that appear neutral but disadvantage certain groups of people. Discrimination may take obvious forms or it may happen in very subtle ways. Regardless of other factors affecting a decision or action, if discrimination is one factor, then it is a violation of this policy.

Comments or actions that are known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome are forms of harassment. They can involve words or actions that are known or should be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning, or unwelcome based on any of the Grounds of Discrimination.

Examples of harassment include:

  • Epithets, remarks, jokes, or innuendos related to a person’s race, gender identity, gender expression, sex, disability, sexual orientation, creed, age, or any other ground.
  • Posting or circulating offensive pictures, graffiti, or materials, whether in print form or via e-mail or other electronic means.
  • Singling out a person for humiliating or demeaning “teasing” or jokes because they are a member of a Code-protected group.
  • Comments ridiculing a person because of characteristics that are related to a ground of discrimination. For example, this could include comments about a person’s dress, speech, or other practices that may be related to their sex, race, gender identity, or creed.

If a person does not explicitly object to harassing behaviour or appears to be going along with it, this does not mean that the behaviour is acceptable. The behaviour could still be considered harassment under the Code.

Sexual and gender-based harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of harassment that can include:

  • Gender-related comments about a person’s physical characteristics or mannerisms.
  • Paternalism based on gender which a person feels undermines his or her self-respect or position of responsibility.
  • Unwelcome physical contact.
  • Suggestive or offensive remarks or innuendoes about members of a specific gender.
  • Propositions of physical intimacy.
  • Gender-related verbal abuse, threats, or taunting.
  • Leering or inappropriate staring.
  • Bragging about sexual prowess or questions or discussions about sexual activities.
  • Offensive jokes or comments of a sexual nature about an employee or client.
  • Rough and vulgar humour or language related to gender.
  • Display of sexually offensive pictures, graffiti, or other materials including through electronic means.
  • Demands for dates or sexual favours.
Sexual Solicitation
This policy prohibits sexual solicitations or advances by any person who is in a position to grant or deny a benefit to the recipient of the solicitation or advance. This includes managers, supervisors, and co-workers. Reprisals for rejecting such advances or solicitations are also not allowed.
Poisoned environment
A poisoned environment is created by comments or conduct (including comments or conduct that are condoned or allowed to continue when brought to the attention of management) that create a discriminatory work environment. The comments or conduct need not be directed at a specific person and may be from any person regardless of position or status. A single comment or action, if sufficiently serious, may create a poisoned environment.

Grounds of Discrimination

This policy prohibits discrimination or harassment based on the following grounds and any combination of these grounds:

  • Age
  • Creed (religion)
  • Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Family status (such as being in a parent-child relationship)
  • Marital status (including married, single, widowed, divorced, separated, or living in a conjugal relationship outside of marriage, whether in a same-sex or opposite-sex relationship)
  • Disability (including mental, physical, developmental, or learning disabilities)
  • Race
  • Ancestry
  • Place of origin
  • Ethnic origin
  • Citizenship
  • Colour
  • Record of offences (criminal conviction for a provincial offence or for an offence for which a pardon has been received)
  • Association or relationship with a person identified by one of the above grounds
  • Perception that one of the above grounds applies