The Respectful Workplace Policy aims to build onto and reinforce the Code of Conduct for the Performing Arts. It creates a clear standard on how we work together and outlines the common understanding of what a respectful workplace looks and feels like to us. This Policy is rooted in our organizational values and our desire to celebrate each of our individual experiences.
The Respectful Workplace Policy aims to:
- Set clear expectations on what a respectful workplace looks like for VLACC;
- Protect the rights of all employees, volunteers, contractors and all who conduct work on behalf of VLACC;
- Create a safer space when interacting with the public and other organizations;
- Outline the roles and responsibilities;
- Outline a clear process of remedying any incidents that go against this Policy.
This Policy extends to individuals who conduct work on VLACC’s behalf, including artists, cultural workers, guest artists, directors, choreographers, conductors, staff members, board members, contractors, interns, suppliers, attendees, organizations who we collaborate with, and volunteers.
This Policy extends to any place or project that VLACC is involved in. This includes auditions, rehearsals, meetings, online events, job interviews, company functions, fundraising events, off-site performances and tours, and work-related conferences and training sessions.
This Policy also applies to all internet and social media posts and interactions that may have an impact in the workplace.
Bias is a prejudice in favour of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. Biases may be held by an individual, group, or institution and can have negative or positive consequences.
Calling in or a ‘call in’ is an invitation to a one-on-one or small group conversation to bring attention to an individual or group’s harmful words or behaviour, including bias, prejudice, microaggressions, and discrimination.
Calling out or a ‘call out’ is bringing public attention to an individual, group, or organization’s harmful words or behaviour.
This includes the wider community that VLACC interacts with including attendees, patrons, vendors and other organizations.
The person who is reporting an incident.
This refers to someone’s supervisor or manager. They provide support and feedback directly to a person.
When an employee, employee representative, or individual associated with the organization files a written grievance with leadership.
is improper conduct by an individual, that is directed at and offensive to another individual in the workplace, including at any event or any location related to work, and that the individual knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm. It comprises objectionable act(s), comment(s) or display(s) that demean, belittle, or cause personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat. It also includes harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act (i.e. based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and pardoned conviction). Bullying, discrimination and violence are examples of harassment that can take place:
- Bullying is usually seen as acts or verbal comments that could psychologically or ‘mentally’ hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. Sometimes, bullying can involve negative physical contact as well. Bullying usually involves repeated incidents or a pattern of behaviour that is intended to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a particular person or group of people. It has also been described as the assertion of power through aggression.
- Discrimination is an action or a decision that treats a person or a group badly for reasons such as their race, age or ability. These reasons, also called grounds, are protected under the BC Human Rights Code.
- Violence is the act or threat of violence, ranging from verbal abuse to physical assaults, directed toward people at work or on duty. Workplace violence also may include acts that result in damage to an organization’s resources or capabilities. Many organizations may also consider workplace harassment to fall under violence in the workplace.
This refers to those who are in position of power and decision-making at VLACC. It includes the Board and the Executive Director (ED).
This refers to everyone who is internally involved at VLACC including employees, and volunteers.
is understood to be any kind of negative action against a former or current team member that takes the form of punishment and makes the working conditions uncomfortable or threatening as a result of their complaint.
A supportive, non-threatening environment where all participants can feel comfortable to express themselves and share experiences without fear of discrimination or reprisal. Safety is relative for all individuals so the term ‘safer’ is used in place of ‘safe’.
In order to create and maintain a respectful workplace that allows all those that come through to feel seen, heard and safe, we must have guidelines for what a ‘Respectful Workplace’ is.
A ‘Respectful Workplace’ is one where:
- People are heard;
- People and their experiences are believed;
- There is a willingness to listen to other perspectives;
- People are met where they are;
- Lived experience is celebrated and understood to be expertise;
- People feel important and valued;
- The value of each role within VLACC is understood;
- People can be their full selves;
- Consent is sought for personal and physical boundaries;
- Behaviour that goes against this Policy is called out and/or called in;
- There is no threat of violence, discrimination, harassment or bullying; and
- Power dynamics (personal, professional or societal) are named in interactions and every effort is made to redistribute power.
Art can be subjective and oftentimes pushes boundaries. While we embrace artistic expression and original content, expression in the forms of cultural appropriation and harmful stereotypes (including racist, ableist and any other discriminatory portrayal of persons) that go against this Respectful Workplace Policy is not tolerated.
Each member of VLACC will:
- Actively work towards creating and maintaining a respectful workplace as outlined in this Policy;
- Work towards examining power and bias in every interaction with VLACC and the wider community;
- Work to not engage in any harmful behaviours that go against this Policy and the Code of Conduct;
- Take active steps towards stopping a behaviour that goes against this Policy and the Code of Conduct including calling out or calling in when necessary;
- Report behaviours that you experience or witness that go against this Policy and Code of Conduct;
- Participate fully in any investigations if a complaint is made.
In addition, leadership will:
- Ensure that this Policy is readily available to all at VLACC and the wider community and is understood by all;
- Follow the conflict resolution process and investigate any complaints and apply appropriate disciplinary action where appropriate;
- Ensure that everyone is aware of how to respond to incidents safely, and how to report incidents;
- Train employees and anyone within VLACC on this Policy and the Code of Conduct
- Ensure that the communities we work with is aware of this Policy and the Code of Conduct;
- Review this Policy and the Code of Conduct annually.
- Be responsible for the oversight and management of respectful workplace practices at VLACC.
We all have a part to play in ensuring VLACC is a respectful workplace. As we approach creating a safer space for all from a place of inclusion, equity and centring those who have less power, there is zero tolerance for acts of harassment including discrimination, bullying and violence as well as retaliation.
If you see any behaviour that is not respectfully directed at someone:
- Offer the person support and inform them that you witnessed the incident.
- Call out the person if that is needed or find a time for a call-in.
- Encourage the person to report the behaviour to leadership. Let them know that you witnessed the incident too and would be willing to share what you saw.
- In some cases, where the person decides to call in the person, you may be asked to be a witness to the conversation (or as support to offset power imbalances that may be present).
- Where the person does not wish to make a complaint, it is still important that leadership is aware of the incident, especially in cases of harassment, bullying, discrimination, violent act, or improper activity or behaviour taking place in the workplace. Tell your manager or a member of human resources what you witnessed so that this type of behaviour does not happen again.
Conflict Resolution and Disciplinary Process
Please refer to VLACC’s conflict resolution and disciplinary process.
The Board of Directors of VLACC is responsible for approving and reviewing this Policy.
The Policy will be reviewed by the Board and they will review the contents of this Policy annually, or sooner, in the event of any incident occurring, or when there are legislative changes related to bullying, harassment, violence, discrimination, or improper activity or behaviour in the workplace.
Feedback from those within VLACC is appreciated and welcomed. VLACC members community may provide feedback through firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Respectful Workplace policy has been created in accordance with relevant BC laws including the BC Human Rights Code.
Resource and helpful information
Strategists from Bakau Consulting created this Respectful Workplace Policy in September 2022 for Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre. All policy-whether created by Bakau, another consultancy, company, or organization-is reflective of the time in which it was created. Standards and language change, and knowledge is acquired over the course of time, meaning that any substantial and impactful policy must be living and fluid and amenable to change. To that end, Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre agrees to revisit, update, and add to this Respectful Workplace Policy by December 1st, 2023 in order to ensure the most up to date and inclusive language, knowledge, and best practices are encompassed in this Respectful Workplace Policy.