Sexual Harassment Policy

June 25 2018
Last Updated
May 28, 2022


The Division is committed to providing a safe environment for all its staff and participants, free from discrimination, on any grounds, and harassment, including sexual harassment.

The Division operates under a zero tolerance policy for any form of sexual harassment in the workplace, and will treat all incidents seriously and promptly.

Any person found to have sexually harassed another will face disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from employment or participation in COBD.

All complaints of sexual harassment will be treated with respect and in confidence. No one will be victimized for making such a complaint.


Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which makes a person feel offended, humiliated and/or intimidated. It includes situations where a person is asked to engage in sexual activity as a condition of that person’s employment or participation, as well as situations which create an environment which is hostile, intimidating or humiliating for the recipient.

Sexual harassment can involve one or more incidents and actions constituting harassment may be Physical, verbal and/or non-verbal. Examples of conduct or behaviour which constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

Unwelcome physical contact including patting, pinching, stroking, kissing, hugging, fondling, or inappropriate touching
Physical violence, including sexual assault
The use of job-related or participation-related threats or rewards to solicit sexual favours
Comments on a worker’s appearance, age, private life, etc.
Sexual comments, stories and jokes
Sexual advances
Repeated and unwanted social invitations for dates or physical intimacy
Insults based on the sex of the worker
Sending sexually explicit messages (by phone, email or through social media)
Display of sexually explicit or suggestive material
Sexually-suggestive gestures

Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment, regardless of their sex and of the sex of the harasser. The Division recognizes that sexual harassment may also occur between people of the same sex. What matters is that the sexual conduct is unwanted and unwelcome by the person against whom the conduct is directed.

The Division recognizes that sexual harassment can be a manifestation of power relationships and often occurs within unequal relationships within organizations.


All sexual harassment is prohibited whether it takes place within COBD premises or outside, including at private training sessions, social events or conferences sponsored by COBD.

Anyone, including employees, contractors, participants, Board members, volunteers or invited guests who sexually harass another will be reprimanded in accordance with this policy and is liable to any of the following sanctions:

  • verbal or written warning
  • adverse performance evaluation
  • suspension
  • dismissal
  • Banning from participation within COBD

The nature of the sanctions will depend on the gravity and extent of the harassment. Suitable deterrent sanctions will be applied to ensure that incidents of sexual harassment are not treated as trivial. Certain serious cases, including physical violence, will result in the immediate dismissal or banning of the harasser.

False complaints or allegations made with the intent to harm another individual will be taken very seriously and someone found to have made a false complaint may also be liable to the sanctions mentioned above.


The Division will ensure that this policy is widely disseminated to all relevant persons. It will be included in the all staff and participant handbooks. All new employees must be trained on the content of this policy as part of their orientation to the division.
Every year, the Division will require all staff to attend a refresher training session on the content of this policy.


The Division recognizes the importance of monitoring this sexual harassment policy and will ensure that it anonymously collects statistics and data as to how it is used and whether or not it is effective.

The Executive Director and Program and Student Affairs Coordinator will report on compliance with this policy, including the number of incidents, how they were dealt with, and any recommendations made. This will be done on a yearly basis. As a result of this report, the Division will evaluate the effectiveness of this policy and make any changes needed.