OTTAWA LITTLE THEATRE CODE OF CONDUCT

July 24, 2005, revised August 27, 2009, June 23, 2010 and September 19, 2016

The Ottawa Little Theatre (OLT) has a long legacy of providing a caring and supporting environment for its employees and volunteers, together with outstanding service and quality theatrical entertainment for its patrons.  The Board of Directors is fully committed to maintaining and enhancing that legacy.

It is the primary objective for all associated with our theatre to ensure that the working environment – for employees, volunteers and patrons – ensures a positive theatre experience.

  1. Purpose

This Code is intended to promote a harmonious and respectful working environment for all OLT employees and volunteers and to ensure that the OLT complies with the requirements of the Ontario Workplace Health and Safety Act (the “OWHSA”) relating to workplace violence and harassment. It aims to set the highest standards of service integrity, to minimize discord and to promote the resolution of conflicts among or between employees, volunteers and the public.

  1. Application

The code applies at all times when employees and volunteers are engaged in activities at, or are representing, the OLT.

  1. General Expectations

Employees and volunteers are expected at all times to:

  • treat one another and the public with dignity, respect and hospitality;
  • act with honesty, integrity and professionalism;
  • observe high standards of appearance and conduct;
  • avoid conflicts of interest;
  • conduct themselves in a manner that is in the best traditions of the OLT, reflects positively on our public image, and fully supports our mission and mandate.
  1. Unacceptable Conduct

Conduct considered unacceptable is what most of us reasonably understand as unbecoming or inappropriate in a workplace serving the public.  It includes violence.  It also includes harassment of one person by another, or others, on any basis, including: race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, disability or any other prohibited ground of discrimination recognized under the Human Rights Act of Ontario. And it includes sexual violence and harassment.

The OWHSA defines “workplace violence” as

(a) the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker,

(b) an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker,

(c) a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.

It defines “workplace harassment” as

(a) engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; or

(b) workplace sexual harassment.

And it goes on to define “workplace sexual harassment” as

(a) engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or

(b) making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome

Harassment is often based on the perceptions of people – having something said or done to them that causes distress or discomfort.  It can be culturally based – what is accepted in one culture may be inappropriate in another. However, one’s culture or ethnic background is not a legitimate excuse for inappropriate or unwanted behaviour or actions.  Awareness and understanding of conditions causing harassment is crucial to maintaining good relationships among employees, volunteers and the public.

Harassment can include, but is not limited to, slurs, epithets, teasing, threats, verbal or physical abuse, derogatory comments or jokes, and the display or distribution of derogatory pictures or material.

Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following sorts of unwelcome conduct: comments or jokes of a sexual nature, the display or distribution of pornographic pictures or material, inappropriate or uninvited touch or contact, sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or, sexual assault.

Unacceptable conduct must be discouraged at all times.

  1. Complaints and Reports about Unacceptable Conduct

Violence

If violence occurs or is likely to occur, those involved or witnessing it must inform as soon as possible their supervisor or a senior staff member.

Other forms of Unacceptable Conduct

If any other form of unacceptable conduct occurs, those involved in or witnessing it should make a reasonable effort to resolve the situation immediately.

If that approach proves unsuccessful, or the behaviour continues or increases, the conduct should be reported as soon as possible to their supervisor or a senior staff member.

Complaints

Any person who perceives that they have been subjected to unacceptable conduct and that the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved, may, without delay, make a complaint in writing to the Managing Director.

The Managing Director will provide an initial response within 14 working days of receiving notice of a complaint, take such action as s/he considers appropriate and report back in writing to the complainant and respondent on the results of the investigation and any corrective action that has been taken as a result.

  1. Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest occurs when, in the course of an employee’s or volunteer’s activities at the OLT, they are called upon to deal with a matter in which they have a direct or indirect personal and/or financial interest.

A direct interest can occur when an individual may derive, or be seen to derive, some financial or personal benefit or avoid financial or personal loss. An indirect interest may arise when the potential benefit or loss would be experienced by another person having a relationship with the employee or volunteer. These benefits, losses, interests and relationships are generally financial in nature but may be of some other personal nature. In other words, a conflict arises when an employee participates in activities, which could advance a personal interest at the expense of the OLT’s interests. Any behaviour that is, or could be perceived as, a conflict is prohibited.

Some examples of conflicts of interest are:

  • giving preferential treatment to relatives, friends or associates, or to organizations or businesses of which they or their relatives, friends or associates have an interest in, financial or otherwise;
  • deriving financial gain from the use of confidential information acquired in the course of their activities at the OLT;

–          using OLT equipment or resources for personal purposes unrelated to the OLT,

  • accepting any personal gift, service or favour from any person, business or organization in recognition of their activities at the OLT, other than in the course of OLT employee or volunteer recognition events or programs or the normal exchange of hospitality.

Conflicts of interest for employees of the OLT may also arise from employment or business activities outside the OLT.  Subject to their employment contracts employees may engage in these activities if they do not interfere with the performance of their duties as employees of OLT and are not otherwise incompatible with their employment.

  1. Conflict of Interest Disclosure

Employees or volunteers who believe they are in, or about to enter into a conflict of interest, whether actual or perceived, are to report the matter to their supervisor (if they are employees) or the Managing Director.

  1. Confidentiality

The OLT Employee Privacy Policy applies to information contained in, or related to, reports and complaints under this policy. Such information is confidential and may only be disclosed as necessary for dealing with the matter it concerns and in accordance with the law.

Feedback and Input

The Board of Directors and management of the Ottawa Little Theatre are dedicated to ensuring the highest quality working and production environment.  Comments or questions on this policy are welcome.