University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

University Secretariat and Legal Counsel
University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

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In September 1992, Queen’s Human Rights Office was created and a working group was formed to develop a broad policy and procedure related to all forms of harassment and discrimination on campus.

This work was difficult and often contentious; however, in 1995 the Senate approved a formal policy and procedure related to harassment and discrimination, which was to be reviewed every five years and updated as needed.

Five years after they were first approved, in 2000, the existing policy and procedure were reviewed and updated. These documents still stand today.

In 2006, a new group was formed to review the documents as part of the regular review process. This work encountered a number of issues and objections from members of the Queen’s community and it took several years before the documents were updated and faculty, staff, and students were invited to provide their feedback.

In 2011, a motion to approve revised documents was submitted to Queen’s Senate. Some faculty members raised concern with this, noting that the university’s collective agreement with the Queen’s University Faculty Association stated that there could be “no amendments to the Policy insofar as it applies to [QUFA members]…without the consent of [QUFA]”. Because this consent had not yet been obtained, the motion was withdrawn.

Discussions between the university and QUFA continued for several years and, in 2014, the 2011 drafts were withdrawn from consideration due to the passage of time and active work on the file lapsed.

In 2016 the Interim Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Policy was introduced in response to specific amendments to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.  After some experience with both policies in place, the university identified that the Senate policy and the Workplace policy had overlap as well as gaps and determined that a single comprehensive policy was needed.  In 2018, the current Working Group to review these two policies and their procedures in tandem was created. The Working Group met several times since its formation to develop a single, university-wide draft policy and corresponding procedure documents.

The time has now come for the draft documents developed by the Working Group to be shared with the Queen’s community for its feedback.