Human Rights & Advisory Services
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Human Rights and Advisory Services Jackie Gruber – Human Rights & Equity Advisor 474 7388
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New Faculty Orientation
Human Rights & Advisory Services Office: • Our mission is to promote a respectful work and learning environment in which individuals are treated equitably and diversity is valued • Administer the University of Manitoba's Respectful Work and Learning Environment policy for the University community
RESPECTFUL WORK & LEARNING ENVIRONMENT POLICY All members of the University community are bound by the Manitoba Human Rights Code and Workplace Safety & Health Legislation Expected to adhere to the RWLE Policy which covers the following: Human rights discrimination or harassment Sexual harassment Personal harassment
Human Rights Discrimination • Discrimination is differential treatment, whether intended or not, of an individual or group on the basis of actual or presumed membership in one of the groups • Failure to make reasonable accommodation for the special needs of an individual or group as identified by policy based on categories set out in the Manitoba Human Rights Code and the U of M’s RWLE Policy • Human Right’s based harassment
Human Rights Code Characteristics • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Ancestry Nationality or national origin Ethnic background or origin Gender identity Sexual orientation Marital or family status Source of income Political belief, association, activity Physical or mental disability Religion or creed Age Sex, including pregnancy Social disadvantage
ACCOMMODATION OF DISABILITIES Has become a struggle for all educational institutions Must accommodate to the point of “undue hardship” May discriminate if there is “bona fide” academic/work related requirement
DO ANXIETY DISORDERS INCLUDE EXAM ANXIETY? • Exam anxiety is a new description of an old and well recognized problem. • Exam anxiety constituting a normal amount of stress is not a disability, and does not require accommodation. • Exam anxiety can progress to a legitimate anxiety or panic disorder, impairing participation in academic requirements, and requiring accommodation.
OBLIGATION TO INQUIRE ABOUT OR DISCLOSE DISABILITY • Tribunals require only a suspicion of disability before a duty to accommodate is triggered. • The University is required to inquire of students when a disability is suspected, and guide them as to what information will be required for the consideration of accommodations. • A duty to accommodate can be triggered even if the disability is not disclosed in a timely way. Decisions may have to be overturned, and accommodations be put into place retroactively. • Two scenarios: – Failure to disclose known disability – Unknown disability subsequently diagnosed
Are we obligated to ignore our own Policies? • In order to be reasonable, the University may have to ignore its own policies. • The Code is paramount legislation. It trumps: – – – –
Most other legislation University policies Departmental or program requirements Collective agreements
• Any policy which conflicts with the Code could be evidence of poor process.
BONA FIDE REQUIREMENTS IN SERVICE • The University is a “service provider” to its students. • It must be able to demonstrate that its academic standards are necessary in order to ensure that the degrees issued: • Are respected and valued • Meet accreditation requirements • Allow students to enter professions • This requires strong objective evidence. General and self-serving impressions will not be accepted as credible evidence.
CAN WAIVING REQUIREMENT OR LOWERING STANDARDS BE REQUIRED?
• If no bona fide reason for an academic standard is demonstrated, that standard must be waived or lowered. • Can a policy prohibit the waiving of certain academic requirements? • Only if such a prohibition is bona fide with respect to each and every program to which it applies.
BONA FIDE CAUSE IN OTHER PROGRAMS
• It is more difficult to defend standards in non-professional programs. • There are no accreditation standards or professional standards to rely on. • External reviews which compare our programs to others are the best evidence, but are rarely specific.
EXAMPLES OF ACCOMMODATION • • • • • • •
A modified curriculum Extra time for completing tests, exams and assignments Alternative forms of evaluation Academic materials in advance, and/or in alternative formats Provision of and training on adaptive technology Assistance and supports in class Modify the way the student is expected to complete the essential requirements of a program • For grad students changing expectations of job requirements of a TA or RA
Sexual Harassment/Harassment what is it? • • •
A course of abusive and unwelcome conduct or comments made on the basis of any protected characteristics 9(2); or a series of objectionable and unwelcome sexual solicitations or advances; or a sexual solicitation or advance made by a person who is in a position of authority if the person making the advance knew or ought reasonably to know that it is unwelcome; or a reprisal or threat of reprisal for rejecting a sexual solicitation or advance.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT SIX POINTS OF CASE LAW Sexual Harassment: Unwanted sexual attention made by a person who knows or ought reasonably to know that it is unwelcome Promise of reward or threat of reprisal Sexually orientated behaviour or gender-based abusive and unwelcome conduct or comment that has the purpose if creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment
It was aware that harassment is prohibited conduct It had an adequate complaint mechanism in place It acted expeditiously in handling the complaint It dealt with the matter seriously It met its obligation to provide a healthy work environment It met its obligation to inform the complainant of its response
Examples of Sexual Harassment • Sexist remarks, jokes, innuendoes or taunting about a person’s body, appearance, characteristics or clothing • Displaying of pornographic or other sexually offensive material • Persistent and unwelcome invitations or requests for dates • Leering, ogling or other sexually orientated gestures • Inappropriate touching • Sexual assault • Inappropriate questions or sharing of information about a person’s sexuality or sexual orientation
DUTY TO PROVIDE ENVIRONMENT SAFE FROM HARASSMENT Since February 1, 2011 this includes free from psychological harassment RWLE Policy: We all have rights therefore we all have responsibilities What does this statement mean to you?
Bullying/Personal Harassment • One or a series of objectionable and unwelcome comments or actions directed towards a specific target which serve no legitimate work or academic related purpose and have the effect of creating an intimidating, humiliating, hostile or offensive environment • Physical or verbal abuse, threats, or intimidation that is humiliating or demeaning
Examples of Bullying/Personal Harassment • • • •
Spreading malicious rumours, gossip or innuendo Excluding or isolating someone socially Undermining or deliberately impeding a person’s work Making jokes that are “obviously offensive” by spoken word or email • Belittling a person’s opinions • Tampering with a person’s personal belongings or work equipment
Examples of Bullying/Personal Harassment • Repeated or continuous incidents of yelling, screaming or namecalling • Repeated or continuous threats to withdraw funding, scholarships or advancement opportunities for reason unrelated to performance • Comments addressed to a person which have the effect of undermining a person’s role in the workplace, classroom or residence • Verbal attacks • Body language – gestures, eye rolling
How can bullying affect an individual? • • • • • • • • •
Presenteeism Lack of job satisfaction Anger Stress leave/ sick leave Increased sense of vulnerability Loss of confidence Physical symptoms such as stomach pains, headaches Panic, anxiety Inability to concentrate
Human Rights & Advisory Services Human Rights and Advisory Services believes that individuals need to be able to discuss their concerns and to seek advice and assistance in a safe and private environment
QUESTIONS? Please call Human Rights and Advisory Services at 474 6348 or follow the link: http://umanitoba.ca/admin/vp_admin/ofp/hras/index.h tml
Human Rights and Advisory Services 406 University Centre Jackie Gruber 474 7388
If only it were that easy!
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