Monthly Archives: May, 2019

Former Halifax transit worker receives record $593K award in harassment case, respect, training, workplace harassment prevention, prevention training, abuse training

Former Halifax transit worker receives record $593K award in harassment case

May 16th, 2019 Respect in the Workplace, Uncategorised

Source: Elizabeth Chiu · CBC News · 

A Nova Scotia human rights board of inquiry has handed down an award of nearly $600,000 to a former Metro Transit bus garage worker after finding he was the victim of racial harassment and discrimination by management and co-workers.

It’s the largest amount ever awarded by the commission.

The inquiry heard that Y.Z., a mechanic, was targeted with verbal racial slurs, graffiti in the washroom, vandalism of tools and assault between 2002 and 2007. A bus was used to terrorize him by brushing past him.

Y.Z., who is white, is married to a black woman. He told the inquiry his marriage made him the focus of racial taunting.

A psychologist told the inquiry that Y.Z. has been diagnosed as having somatic symptom disorder, major depressive disorder and PTSD.

‘Bad place physically and psychologically’

The psychologist, Myles Genest, said there are “no grounds to suggest [Y.Z.] would be experiencing his current disabling conditions were it not for his experience of negative work environment and threat to his safety in the workplace.”

[Y.Z.’s] in “such a bad place physically and psychologically that it almost has a life of its own now,” the psychologist told the inquiry.

In 2007, the former Metro Transit worker attempted suicide and since then has been “largely housebound” due to his fear of encountering employees from the bus garage. MORE

Strategic alliance formed to support ‘Keeping Respect Alive’ in Canadian workplaces, WFI, workplace fairness institute, alberta, sheldon kennedy, respect, Workplace abuse, healthy workplaces, psychologically safe workplaces, workplace abuse, abuse prevention, harassment prevention training

Strategic alliance formed to support ‘Keeping Respect Alive’ in Canadian workplaces

May 14th, 2019 Press Releases, Respect in the Workplace

 

We are excited to announce a partnership between Respect Group and The Workplace Fairness Institute. Respect Group, a forward-thinking organization founded by former NHLer turned victims’ rights crusader Sheldon Kennedy delivers web-based training to organizations to equip employees with the education and skills needed to address bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) in the workplace. Workplace Fairness provides services to Respect Group certified organizations to support them with the next steps of “Keeping Respect Alive”.

“We believe in Keeping Respect Alive and we know that our Respect in the Workplace on-line training is the first step in starting the conversation.  We have partnered with the Workplace Fairness Institute because keeping that workplace conversation going is greatly enhanced through the support of a third party.” says Sheldon Kennedy, Co-Founder of Respect Group. “We see this as an optimal collaboration to further support organizations.”

Respect Group’s highly interactive, foundational training establishes a baseline of knowledge for employees with regards to bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) and is having a significant impact in workplaces across the country.  Working from this baseline the Workplace Fairness Institute brings their suite of facilitation, coaching and mediation services to imbed respectful behaviours by building capacity to manage conflict, increase collaboration and effectively implement change.

“We support organizations to foster a healthy culture based on a core value of equity of concern and respect,” says Blaine Donais, President and Founder of the Workplace Fairness Institute. “We are thrilled to be supporting Sheldon and Respect Group to provide people and organizations with fair, effective and sustainable solutions for resolving and managing workplace conflicts. We hold the common belief that psychological health and safety is important for every employee. ”

By joining forces, Workplace Fairness and Respect Group can support organizations to identify BAHD behaviours, address issues underlying these behaviours and empower employees to speak out to ensure a psychologically safe workplace.

About Workplace Fairness

The Workplace Fairness Institute (www.workplacefairness.ca) and their partner, Workplace Fairness West (www.workplacefairnesswest.ca) focus on supporting organizations to create safe workplaces.  Working with their over 150 certified Fairness Analysts across Canada they support organizations to enhance and build strong conflict management systems that involve and engage employees.  Their conflict resolution professionals have solid expertise in areas of facilitation, coaching, mediation and providing Ombuds services.

About Respect Group Inc.

Respect Group (respectgroupinc.com) was incorporated in 2004 by co-founders, Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, to pursue their common passion: the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD). Respect Group is made up of a team of over 30 talented individuals whose passion is to create a global culture of Respect. As Canada’s leading on-line provider of prevention education related to BAHD, Respect Group has certified over 1.2 Million Canadians involved in sport, schools and the workplace. Respect Group is a Certified B Corporation (bcorporation.net).

MORE THAN 1000 TOP CANADIAN ATHLETES INFORM PREVALENCE STUDY OF MALTREATMENT IN SPORT, safesport, respect group, sheldon kennedy, sport, coaching, safe sport canada, coach abuse, athlete abuse, abuse prevention, abuse prevention training

MORE THAN 1000 TOP CANADIAN ATHLETES INFORM PREVALENCE STUDY OF MALTREATMENT IN SPORT

May 8th, 2019 Respect in Sport

SOURCE: AthletesCAN

OTTAWA (May 7, 2019) – AthletesCAN, in partnership with University of Toronto, is pleased release a detailed report of the Prevalence of Maltreatment among Current and Former National Team Athletes study.

The online, anonymous survey was developed by Gretchen Kerr, PhD, Erin Willson, B.KIN, and Ashley Stirling, PhD in collaboration with AthletesCAN, supported by the University of Toronto and the federal government, and distributed by AthletesCAN to current national team members as well as retired national team members who had left the sport within the past ten years.

“All Canadians have the right to participate in sport in an environment that is safe, welcoming, inclusive, ethical and respectful,” says Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport. “This study shows us that a systemic culture shift is required to eliminate maltreatment, including sexual, emotional, and physical abuse, neglect, harassment, bullying, exploitation and discrimination. I would like to thank AthletesCAN and the University of Toronto for working together on this study and providing us with the evidence we need to make well-informed decisions to make sport safer in Canada.”

“While recognizing the numerous potential benefits that sport participation has to offer, it is also important to acknowledge that for some athletes, sport is a harmful experience, characterized by various forms of maltreatment,” says Dr. Gretchen Kerr, University of Toronto Professor. “This study looked at all forms of maltreatment including sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, neglect, various types of harassment, bullying and hazing. Although most of the attention to-date has been focused on experiences of sexual abuse, the findings indicate that athletes experience psychological abuse and neglect to a far greater extent than other forms. Most troubling are that neglectful and psychologically harmful behaviours such as the use of demeaning, threatening or humiliating comments, and denying basic needs such as food, water, and safe training conditions, are accepted as normal practices in sport,” she adds. “We wouldn’t accept such behaviours in any other walk of life so why should athletes have to endure these?”

764 current national team athletes and 237 retired athletes, completed the survey of which 61% of which were female. Additional self-identified, underrepresented groups included 10% racialized athletes; 12% athletes with a disability; 2% Indigenous; and 7% LGBTQ2I+.

“We know that sport has the power to inspire a nation, to build leaders and to unite Canadians,” says Dasha Peregoudova, President of AthletesCAN. “That is why we are pushing hard for the necessary change to address abuse, harassment and discrimination in sport. For those who have listened, the athlete voice has been a dominant one on the issue of safe sport for generations. Advocacy work around this issue over the years has included both the disclosure and reporting of various forms of maltreatment; recommendations and demands for change; and knowledge-sharing about the practices that have worked and shaped athlete experiences positively,” she adds. “However, we have not seen one central, independent and research driven survey of the athlete perspective on the issue of safe sport in more than 20 years. That has now changed. A report based on concrete data, collected from over 1000 national team athletes, is undeniable. It will complement the athlete voice in driving change in an unparalleled way.”

The survey produced a number of key findings that will inform the national conversation around Canada’s ability to address not only abuse, harassment and discrimination in sport but all forms of maltreatment.

HARMFUL BEHAVIOURS

The percentage of the top harmful behaviours reported to be most frequently experienced by current and retired athletes include psychological (17%, 23%); neglect (15%, 22%); sexual (4%, 7%); and physical (3%, 5%).

Of the current and retired athletes’ who reported experiences of at least one harmful behaviour in each category of harm, the percentage of the top harmful behaviours were neglect (67%, 76%); psychological (59%, 62%); sexual (20%, 21%); and physical (12%, 19%).

“This study has provided a snapshot of the depth and breadth of harm athletes are experiencing while competing for our country,” says Erin Willson, Olympian. “It is evident that this issue goes beyond criminal conduct to a wide variety of behaviours that impact both the physical and mental well-being of athletes. We, as high performance athletes, are in a unique position to speak to the wide scope of normalized behaviours we have experienced from grassroots to elite sport, but we are only a small portion of recreational and competitive athletes in Canada. If we have experienced maltreatment throughout our sport pathway, this study then brings into question how many other athletes are experiencing harm that are not yet at this level, or have dropped out because of abusive experiences before making it onto a national team?”

DISCRIMINATION

The most commonly experienced form of discrimination was gender discrimination with female athletes feeling they had fewer opportunities, supports and resources to advance their sport careers. Furthermore, 22% of self-identified racialized athletes experienced discrimination based on race.

“Based on the data collected, we know that racial discrimination exists in sport,” says Neville Wright, 3-time Olympian and Safe Sport Working Group member. “Due to the lack of awareness and reporting, this is a topic that does not receive enough attention, nor is it adequately addressed through policy or education. The system needs more leaders that have the ability to relate, empathize and deal with this issue. We must promote the equitable treatment of all sport participants and need to ensure under-represented groups feel supported and free to train and compete in a sport environment free from discrimination. Education and sensitivity training is a key step to recognizing and addressing racism in sport and I am committed to supporting this positive change in the months to come.” MORE

Canadian soccer leaders unanimously support Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster, sheldon kennedy, respect in sport, safesport, soccer, abuse, coach abuse, athletes safe

Canadian soccer leaders unanimously support Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster

May 6th, 2019 Respect in Sport

SOURCE: Canada Soccer

Posted on 4 May 2019 in Canadian Soccer Association

 

At the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Members in Québec City, Canada Soccer’s membership unanimously supported a suite of programs and initiatives that contribute to safe, fun and welcoming environments for everyone involved in the game.

The Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster combines the benefits of mandatory certification for all coaches, a sophisticated Club Licensing Program, National Soccer Registry, Whistleblower Policy and Hotline, Code of Conduct and Ethics, and concussion protocols to create the best possible conditions for players, coaches, referees and administrators.

“The Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster represents the continuation of a long-term commitment to making our sport as safe and enjoyable as we possibly can for all our participants,” said Canada Soccer President Steven Reed. “We’re seeing an unprecedented movement in this country that’s affecting the entire sport system. For soccer, this is a good start, and we’re committed to working closely with our membership and all stakeholders to deliver on all the components of the Safe Sport Roster.”

At the heart of the Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster are mandatory certification requirements for every coach in the country. These include training appropriate for the age and stage of the players, specified courses offered through the Coaching Association of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program, online Respect in Sport training, and adopting the requirements of the Responsible Coaching Movement.

“This is a strong signal from the country’s soccer leaders that the safety, enjoyment and development of our athletes is paramount,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer General Secretary. “It recognizes that there is more that needs to be done to ensure safe sport experiences for all participants, no matter the age, level of play or community. Making sport safer is more than just the right thing to do, it’s the only thing to do.”

“Minimum standards for coach training are absolutely essential to creating a safe environment for players,” said Jason deVos, Canada Soccer’s Director of Development. “We have a responsibility to ensure that investments are made by all member associations to help our coaches achieve those standards.”

Other initiatives include an expanded Club Licensing Program that provides a set of minimum standards for soccer experiences everywhere in the country, an education program to address abuse of referees, and a National Soccer Registry to track data related to player registration, development and safety.

Player safety is being further enhanced through nationwide implementation of concussion protocols.

“From my perspective as a pediatric neurologist, soccer in Canada has never been safer,” said Dr. Kevin Gordon, Member of Canada Soccer’s Sport Medicine Committee and a leading child neurologist. “Canada Soccer has put in place the gold standard for concussion protocols to prevent head injuries and to manage them as effectively as we can when they do occur.”

In addition to working with all member associations, Canada Soccer is committed to collaborating with other leading National and Multi-Sport Organizations towards making the entire sport system safer for all participants.

abuse, athlete abuse, Canada, Ontario, athletescan, olympic athletes Canada, respect, coach abuse, abuse free sport, safe sport, respect group, Sheldon Kennedy, parenting articles, making sport safer, keeping athletes safe

Canadian athletes want the lip service around safe sport to stop

May 1st, 2019 Respect in Sport

SOURCE: Devin Heroux · CBC Sports · 

The voices of some of Canada’s top athletes are growing louder when it comes to the issue of safe sport in the country: They’re tired of the talk and want action.

For the past two days at a building in downtown Toronto, Canadian Olympians, Paralympians and high-performance athletes from a number of sports have been speaking out, some for the first time, sharing their personal stories of abuse in sport.

But as much as the two-day safe sport summit has been about making a safe space for athletes to share their truth, there’s also a commitment to changing how safe sport policy is being created in Canada right now.

“There is a lot of hurt in this room,” bobsledder Kaillie Humphries said. “Coming together with other athletes to create change is so huge — because things need to change. As athletes, we need to feel safe.”

In January, Humphries told the CBC she has filed a harassment complaint with Bobsleigh Canada. In October, she announced she was stepping away from competition for a year, and admits now it is directly because of the harassment investigation.

Humphries is still awaiting the findings of an independent investigation into her case.

“My trust in the process and system is not great,” she said. “I’m seeing a lot of holes in the system in my own process that I’m falling through. And if I’m falling through them, there are others who are too.”

It’s been nearly three months since a CBC investigation revealed at least 222 coaches who were involved in amateur sport in Canada have been convicted of sexual offences in the past 20 years, involving more than 600 victims under the age of 18.

Since then, there have been a number of announcements from Canada’s sport minister, Kirsty Duncan, addressing ways to make sport safer for athletes, including a national, toll-free, confidential helpline for victims and witnesses of abuse in sport.

But Humphries, along with the dozens of other athletes in Toronto this week, feels as though they’ve been left out of the conversation.

“It has been one-sided until now,” Humphries said. “Athletes need a safe space to talk about this and provide input for change.”

That’s why AthletesCAN, the group representing Canada’s national team athletes, created its own national safe sport summit, taking place this week in Toronto. It is funded by the Canadian Olympic Committee, Deloitte, Canadian Tire Jumpstart and Respect Group.

“The frustrating part about this is it’s the first of its kind,” said AthletesCAN president Dasha Peregoudova. “We’ve been trying to put this together for a long time.”

Peregoudova said she hopes the two days of tough conversation will help empower athletes to continue to push for change and has created a safe space for people to talk about these issues.

“Sport integrity is at stake,” she said. “You can’t have a sport system without its key stakeholders. Those are the athletes. None of the other stakeholders — the organizations, the NSOs or other governing bodies  — don’t matter if there are no athletes.”

Athlete solidarity important part of process

Olympian Allison Forsyth, a former skier, has been the summit’s facilitator over the past couple of days. She knows all too well the horrifying reality of abuse in sport.

Forsyth said she was sexually abused by her coach, Bertrand Charest, in 1997 and 1998. For more than a year, she’s been speaking publicly about her abuse and her struggle with guilt, shame and anxiety as a result.

Charest was found guilty of 37 of the 57 sex-related charges he was facing and was eventually given a 12-year prison term. (Charest has been released from prison pending an appeal.)

Forsyth, now 40, said she was one of the athletes who came forward in 1998, when Alpine Canada first became aware of Charest’s sexual contact with several of his teenage athletes.

“I was told, ‘Do not say anything, because we would lose our sponsors,’ and it would end my career,” she said.

Forsyth said the problem still exists. She claims the funding models and self-serving interests of national sports organizations have helped silence athletes’ voices for years.

“The first thing that should have been called into action after the CBC report was an athlete summit,” Forsyth said. “We shouldn’t have had to do it ourselves. The fact that we had to self-organize is frustrating.”

Forsyth said so much of the policy being created is missing current athlete experiences and is not getting at the heart of what’s really happening in sporting environments across the country. But she said this week’s summit for athletes is giving her added motivation to keep pushing for change that reflects the actual realities of abuse athletes still face. MORE

 

Ontario PCs criticized for appointing all-male panel to review OPP culture

May 1st, 2019 Respect in the Workplace

SOURCE: THE GLOBE AND MAIL

The Ontario government has appointed an all-male panel to probe workplace culture at the provincial police force, raising questions about whether the review will adequately address gender discrimination and harassment issues facing female employees.

Solicitor-General Sylvia Jones on Monday announced that Ontario will spend up to $500,000 for an independent review panel to examine culture at the Ontario Provincial Police following recent suicides, as well as complaints by current and former OPP staff.

The three-member panel will consist of former Superior Court associate chief justice Douglas Cunningham, former deputy attorney-general Murray Segal and former NDP cabinet minister David Cooke.

In an interview, Ms. Jones said the government chose its three panelists based on experience in government and the judiciary.

“We wanted that expertise and unfortunately in this particular panel … we couldn’t put in a female at this time,” she said.

“The Premier has appointed the solicitor-general and the attorney-general as females, so I don’t think it’s a case of being excluded. We first and foremost wanted individuals who had experience and background in this type of work, which is why we’ve asked these three individuals to serve.”

Ms. Jones said the panel’s agenda will be driven by the feedback it hears from OPP members, civilian workers, retired officers and the general public, and that much of the work will be completed online.

“We have to be fiscally responsible. And frankly, a lot of these stories, I’m not sure that people would want to share in a very public forum,” she said.

Ms. Jones has said the OPP is facing a mental-health crisis, with 13 officers having taken their own lives since 2012. She called the statistics “deeply concerning.”

Ms. Jones said the panel’s review will be “comprehensive,” with an interim report by midsummer and a final report expected by fall. They will be paid a standard per diem of $1,200 for days they work.

The OPP’s Civilian Association of Managers and Specialists (CAMS), which currently has a complaint before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging systemic gender discrimination by the service, expressed disappointment with the “ironic” lack of female representation on the panel.

“If the issues of systemic gender discrimination are left out of the review, unfortunately, the panel will become another example of the lack of insight by the OPP about our work and the conditions of our work where women are viewed as second class,” OPP human-resources manager Lee-Anne McFarlane said in an e-mail statement on behalf of CAMS.

Debra Langan, an associate professor of criminology at Wilfrid Laurier University, said academic research has highlighted the need for cultural changes in policing.

“I find it shocking that the committee is to be made up of all men. I wonder how that kind of decision was made,” Prof. Langan said.

Both the NDP and Liberals said the Progressive Conservative government missed an opportunity to represent women. “Their voices and their perspectives should be part of that panel,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said.

Linda Duxbury, a professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, has worked with numerous police services across Canada through her research. She said her main concern isn’t that the panel does not include any women – it’s that it doesn’t include any police officers.

“I would have expected to have people who knew something about policing, and/or about mental health, and/or about organizational culture. They picked people who – it seems like they’re political appointments,” she said. “If I was to be extremely cynical – which, believe me, many police officers are – this is again the Ford government showing the OPP who’s boss.”

The creation of the panel comes after the government announced new mental-health supports for provincial police officers last month. The province will fully fund that program, with the police union delivering it. MORE

CONTACT US

I'd like to learn more:

Media Inquiries

Privacy Policy

Helpdesk Support

Respect Group offers fully bilingual Helpdesk Support 7 days a week from 6 AM to Midnight MST.On the login page of your Respect Group Program you will see Helpdesk Support in the lower left-hand corner. Click there to see brief troubleshooting steps or how to contact the Helpdesk.

Sexual harassment training, Workplace harassment training, Workplace misconduct training, Workplace incivility, Incivility in the Workplace, Workplace bullying, sensitivity training, discrimination staff training, inclusive workplace training, workplace diversity training, inclusive / diverse workplace, How to create a strong culture and environment of inclusiveness? How to address workplace discrimination, bullying & harassment, How to provide employees with skills and tools to minimize hostility in the workplace? How to create a positive workplace? How can I teach my employees to respect our code of conduct? How can I bring my employees to the same page regarding accurate? What can you do as a manager to avoid harassment or bullying? Bill 168 training Ontario, Bill 132 training Ontario

Copyright © Respect Group Inc. All rights reserved.

Respect Group offers 24/7 bilingual helpdesk support.

To Assist our Helpdesk, we request you access the URL of the program where you are experiencing difficulty.

When viewing the program URL, you will see a link for Helpdesk Support in the lower left-hand corner . Click on this link to see brief troubleshooting steps or contact the Helpdesk.