THE CANADIAN KENDO FEDERATION
Harassment Policy

1. Policy Statement

2. Application of this Policy

3. Definitions

4. Procedures for Receiving and Responding to a Complaint

5. Fact-Finding

6 Procedures for Reviewing Complaints

7. Investigators

8. Hearing

9. Decision

10. Discipline

11. Confidentiality

12. Review 
Note: In this policy
  • the Canadian Kendo Federation is referred to as “CKF”.
  • "days" will mean total days irrespective of weekends or holidays.
  • Kendo is taken to refer to all the arts contained within the organization of the CKF, specifically as of April 2010, Kendo, Iaido and Jodo.

1. Policy Statement

1.1 The CKF is committed to creating and maintaining a martial art and work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to participate and work in an environment that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices.

1.2 More particularly, CKF is committed to providing an environment free from harassment on the basis of race, nationality or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or disability. Harassment on the basis of any of these grounds is a form of discrimination that is prohibited by human rights legislation throughout Canada. In its most extreme forms, harassment can be an offence under Canada's Criminal Code.

1.3 The CKF does not tolerate harassment. All persons in positions of authority with the CKF are expected to take appropriate action when harassment occurs. Individuals whose conduct is found to constitute harassment as defined in this policy will face disciplinary action.


2. Application of this Policy

2.1 This policy applies to all employees as well as to all directors, officers, volunteers, instructors, students, officials, administrators, members and participants who are under the jurisdiction of the CKF. It applies to harassment that may occur during the course of all CKF business, activities and events.

2.2 Notwithstanding the procedures in this policy, a person in a position of authority is encouraged to take immediate, informal, corrective disciplinary action in response to behavior that constitutes a minor incidence of harassment.

2.3 The Executive Committee is responsible for overseeing the procedures set out in this policy and will, at all times, ensure that such procedures are carried out in a timely manner.


3. Definitions

3.1 Harassment is a form of conduct that is cruel, intimidating, humiliating, offensive or physically harmful. Types of behaviour that constitute harassment include, but are not limited to:

  1. hostile verbal and non-verbal communications;
  2. condescending, patronizing, threatening or punishing actions that undermine self-esteem or diminish performance;
  3. unwelcome jokes, innuendo or teasing about a person's looks, body, attire, age, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation;
  4. practical jokes that cause awkwardness or embarrassment, endanger a person's safety or negatively affect performance;
  5. any form of hazing;
  6. any form of physical assault;
  7. sexual harassment, as defined in this policy below;
  8. behaviours such as those described above that are not directed towards individuals or groups but that have the effect of creating a negative or hostile environment; or
  9. retaliation or threats of retaliation against an individual who reports harassment

3.2 Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual remarks or advances, requests for sexual favours or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
  1. Submitting to or rejecting this conduct is used as the basis for making decisions that affect the individual; or
  2. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's performance; or
  3. Such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.


4. Procedures for Receiving and Responding to a Complaint

4.1 A person who experiences harassment, any person who witnesses harassment, or any person who believes that harassment has occurred is encouraged to make it known that the behaviour is contrary to this policy.

4.2 If confronting the person is not possible or if after confronting the person the behaviour continues, the person who has experienced the harassment, who has witnessed the harassment, or who believes that harassment has occurred should report the matter to an "official" of the CKF. For the purposes of this policy, an official is any person in a responsible staff or volunteer position.

4.3 Once an incident is reported, the role of the official is to serve in a neutral, unbiased capacity in receiving the report of the incident, advising the parents or guardians of the incident (if the person who has experienced the harm is a minor), and assisting in an informal resolution of the complaint, where this is appropriate. If the official considers that he or she is unable to act in this capacity, the complaint will be referred to another official who is able and willing to assist.

4.4 There are two possible outcomes to this meeting of complainant and official:

  1. The complainant may decide to pursue an informal resolution of the complaint, in which case the official will assist the two parties to negotiate an acceptable resolution of the complaint. If an informal resolution of the complaint is not appropriate or possible, the complainant may decide to lay a formal written complaint; or
  2. The complainant may decide to lay a formal written complaint submitted to CKF’s Executive, in which case the official shall advise the CKF Executive who will then appoint a harassment officer.

5. Fact-Finding

5.1 If informal resolution of the complaint is not appropriate or possible, and if the person who has experienced or witnessed the harassment, or who believes that harassment has occurred decides to pursue a formal written complaint, the official will refer the complaint to a designated CKF harassment officer. The harassment officer will assist the individual in preparing a formal written complaint and will provide a copy to the Executive Committee.

5.2 Once the complaint has been reported to the Executive Committee, the harassment officer will then gather facts surrounding the incident by speaking directly with the complainant and the person against whom the complaint is made (the "respondent"), and any witnesses who, in the opinion of the official, might have relevant facts or observations about the incident. The respondent will also be allowed an opportunity to provide a written statement to the harassment officer.

5.3 The process of fact- finding will be carried out in a timely manner and the results summarized in a written report that will be provided to the Executive Committee, along with any written statement prepared by the respondent.

5.4 Upon receiving this report and any written statement, the Executive Committee will decide within five (5) business days:

  1. if the complaint should be dealt with informally, in which case it will direct the appropriate response and the matter will then be concluded; or
  2. that the alleged offence is of such seriousness as to warrant suspension of the individual from activities with the CKF pending a review of the complaint.


6 Procedures for Reviewing Complaints

6.1 If the Executive Committee determines that the complaint should be dealt with more formally, it will appoint three unbiased individuals to serve as a Panel, and will appoint one of these individuals to serve as the Chairperson of the Panel. Both genders will be represented on the Panel.

6.2 The Executive Committee will then, at its sole discretion, and having regard to the nature of the complaint and the potential seriousness of the outcome, determine which of the following procedures will be used by the Panel to review the complaint (these procedures are listed from the least formal to the most formal):

  1. The Panel will review the statement of the complainant, the statement of the respondent and the report of the harassment officer and will then render a decision; or
  2. The Executive Committee will appoint an outside investigator who will conduct a formal investigation of the incident and will provide a written report to the Panel. The Panel will consider this report, as well as the statements of the complainant and the respondent, and the report of the harassment officer, and will then render a decision; or
  3. The Executive Committee will appoint an outside investigator who will conduct a formal investigation of the incident and will provide a written report to the Panel. The Panel will review this report at a hearing with the complainant and respondent present, may ask questions of the complainant and respondent, and may allow the complainant and respondent to ask questions of each other. Following the hearing, the Panel will render its decision; or
  4. The Panel will convene a hearing involving the complainant, respondent and witnesses. The complainant and respondent will have an opportunity to present evidence and to cross-examine each other and witnesses. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Panel will render its decision; or
  5. Any other appropriate combination of the above hearing methods.

6.3 If at any point the complainant becomes reluctant to continue with these procedures, it will be at the sole discretion of the Executive Committee to nonetheless continue the review of the complaint in accordance with this policy.


7. Investigators

7.1 The Investigator should be a person experienced in harassment matters and investigation techniques. The Investigator shall gather facts surrounding the incident by speaking directly with the complainant and the person against whom the complaint is made (the “respondent”), and any witnesses who, in the opinion of the Investigator, might have relevant facts or observations about the incident. The respondent shall also be given the opportunity to provide a written statement to the Investigator.

7.2 The Investigator shall carry out the investigation in a timely manner and at the conclusion of the investigation shall submit a written report to the CKF Executive.


8. Hearing

8.1 If the Executive determines that a hearing will be held, the hearing will be heard as soon as possible, but not more than fifteen (15) business days after the Discipline Panel has been appointed by the Executive.

8.2 The Discipline Panel shall govern the hearing as it sees fit, provided that:

  1. a quorum shall be all three (3) Discipline Panel members;
  2. decisions shall be by majority vote; the Chairperson carries a vote;
  3. the complainant and the respondent may be accompanied by a representative;
  4. the hearing shall be held in private;
  5. the respondent shall be given five (5) business days written notice (by courier or fax) of the day, time and place of the hearing, and included in the notice shall be a copy of the formal complaint and a copy of the Investigator’s report;
  6. the complainant shall receive a copy of the Investigator’s report five (5) days prior to the hearing;
  7. both the complainant and respondent shall be present at the hearing to respond to the Investigator’s report, give evidence and to answer questions of the Discipline Panel. The hearing shall proceed in the absence of either or both parties;
  8. the Investigator may attend the hearing at the request of the Discipline Panel;
  9. the Discipline Panel may request that witnesses to the incident be present or submit written evidence; and
  10. once appointed, the Discipline Panel shall have the authority to abridge or extend timelines associated with all aspects of the hearing.

8.3 In order to keep costs to a reasonable level the Discipline Panel may conduct the hearing by means of a conference call or videoconference.


9. Decision

9.1 As soon as possible, but within five (5) business days of a completed procedure as described in section 6.2 or upon review of the harassment officers report, the Panel will present its findings in a report to the Executive Committee with a copy provided to both the complainant and respondent. This report will contain:

  1. A summary of the relevant facts;
  2. a determination as to whether the acts complained of constitute harassment as defined in this policy;
  3. disciplinary action to be taken, if the acts constitute harassment; and
  4. measures to remedy or mitigate the harm or loss suffered by the complainant, if the acts constitute harassment.

9.2 If the Panel determines that allegations of harassment are false, vexatious, retaliatory or frivolous, its report may direct that there be disciplinary action against the complainant.

9.3 The decision of the Panel will be final and binding upon the complainant, respondent and CKF. Any disciplinary action imposed under this policy may be appealed pursuant to the CKF's policy on Appeals.


10. Discipline

10.1 When recommending appropriate disciplinary action, the Discipline Panel shall consider factors such as:
  1. the nature and severity of the harassment;
  2. whether the harassment involved any physical contact;
  3. whether the harassment was an isolated incident or part of an ongoing pattern;
  4. the nature of the relationship between the complainant and respondent;
  5. the age of the complainant;
  6. whether the respondent had been involved in previous harassment incidents;
  7. whether the respondent admitted responsibility and expressed a willingness to change; and
  8. whether the respondent retaliated against the complainant.

10.2 In directing disciplinary action, the Panel may consider the following options, singly or in combination, depending on the nature and severity of the harassment and other aggravating and mitigating circumstances:

  1. Verbal apology;
  2. Written apology;
  3. Letter of reprimand from the CKF;
  4. A fine or levy;
  5. Referral to counselling;
  6. Removal of certain privileges of employment or association with CKF;
  7. Demotion or a pay reduction;
  8. Temporary suspension from employment, with or without pay;
  9. Termination of employment or contract;
  10. Publication of the decision;
  11. any other sanction that the Panel considers appropriate in the circumstances.

10.3 Unless the Panel decides otherwise, any disciplinary sanctions will take effect immediately.


11. Confidentiality

11.1 The CKF recognizes the sensitive and serious nature of harassment and will strive to keep all matters relating to a complaint confidential. However, if required by law to disclose information, CKF will do so. It is also the policy of CKF to allow publication of the decision of the Panel, where the acts complained of constitute harassment and where the Panel directs publication as part of its decision.


12. Review

12.1 This policy will be reviewed by the Executive Committee on an annual basis, and revised as required.

accepted: June, 2010

back to CKF homepage