In short, this would serve as a learning lesson for boards of directors of all arts groups to be proactive in making cultural changes now and to ensure the well-being of their employees by maintaining healthy work culture.Moreover, the management could have avoided this situations by making some changes to their existing policies, procedures, programs, and training to reflect the amendments made by Bill 132 (Occupational Health and Safety Act). The workplace harassment programs at the theatre needs to be revamped to include more specific detail on reporting and investigation processes, and has to be created in consultation with the joint health and safety committee, or a health and safety representative.
Workplace Anti-Violence, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment Policy (Bills 168 and 132) – Ontario provides a good starting point. The new harassment program and accompanying policies must inform artists and employees how to file complaints, as well as the steps that will be taken to maintain confidentiality. Standard guidelines should be created to ensure the consistency of investigations.
The employees and artists must be properly educated from time to time about Workplace Anti-Violence, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment Policy and measures that needs to be taken to avoid the same. Harassment should not be ignored, as silence can and often is interpreted as acceptance.Employees should be assured that if they rejected sexual advances or lodged a complaint when they were being harassed or discriminated, they will not be demoted, dismissed, disciplined, or denied a promotion, advancement, or employment opportunities.
The employer must complete a thorough investigation once a written complaint is received. The organization should ensure that, where practicable, the investigation is completed within 90 days of the complaint being filed. During the course of investigation the employer should ensure that all the information obtained must not be disclosed, unless the disclosure is required by law or necessary for further investigation.