Basis of Policy:
- Members of The Manitoba Real Estate Association Inc. (“Members”) (“MREA”), its staff (“Staff”), students, and the general public should be able to work, interact, attend and/or participate in MREA activities within a courteous, respectful, and safe environment that is free from discrimination, harassment/bullying, sexual harassment, and violence.
- This Respectful Conduct Policy (the “Policy”) applies to all Staff, Members, students, members of the general public, and any other individual present at REALTOR® Place, located at 1873 Inkster Boulevard (the “Premises”) or off-Premises at any activity or event sponsored by MREA. The Policy also applies to Staff or Members who are attending any activity or event in their capacity as a representative of MREA.
- MREA will not tolerate behaviour by any individual that this policy applies to which constitutes attempted, perceived, or actual instances of discrimination, harassment/bullying, sexual harassment, or violence contrary to this Policy.
- MREA will ensure this Policy is posted and accessible at a conspicuous location on the Premises.
Definition of Discrimination
Discrimination means any form of unequal treatment based on a prohibited ground as defined in The Human Rights Code (Manitoba), whether excluding individuals, imposing extra burdens, or denying benefits. Such conduct may be intentional or unintentional and may involve direct actions that are discriminatory on their face, or it may involve rules, practices, or procedures that appear neutral, but have the effect of disadvantaging certain groups or people.
Discrimination may take obvious forms, or it may occur in very subtle ways, however in any case, even if there are many factors affecting a decision or action, if discrimination is one factor, that factor will constitute a violation of this Policy unless there is bona fide and reasonable cause for the discrimination in accordance with The Human Rights Code (Manitoba).
Definition of Harassment and/or Bullying:
For the purpose of this Policy, harassment (or harassing) and/or bullying behaviour includes but is not limited to:
- a severe single incident or a series of incidents of objectionable and unwelcome conduct or comments, directed toward a specific individual or group of individuals, which does not reasonably serve the purpose(s) of a real estate association workplace or MREA event, and objectively would have the effect of creating an intimidating, humiliating, hostile, or offensive real estate association workplace or MREA event;
- verbal or written abuse, threats, or intimidation that objectively are humiliating or demeaning; and/or
- objectionable and unwelcome conduct or comments that objectively impact the mental or physical health of another individual. For example, yelling, swearing, demeaning, or threatening language, actions, or behaviour may constitute harassing or bullying behaviour.
This definition encompasses conduct that may originate off-Premises, but which is directed towards individuals on the Premises, such as harassing or bullying emails, phone calls, voicemails, text messages, and social media comments.
This definition includes bullying behaviour between Staff, Members, students, and other individuals such as:
- Member to Member;
- Member to Staff;
- Member to student
- Member to another individual/the general public;
- Staff to Staff;
- Staff to Member;
- Staff to student
- Staff to another individual/the general public;
- Student to student;
- Student to Staff;
- Student to Member
- Another individual to a Member; or
- Another individual to Staff.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
For the purpose of this Policy, “sexual harassment” includes offensive or humiliating actions that are related to an individual’s gender identity as well as behaviour of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, unwelcome, hostile, or offensive work or MREA event environment, or that could reasonably be thought to put sexual conditions on an individual’s job, employment, or business opportunity. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Unwelcome physical contact, such as inappropriate touching;
- Unwelcome sexual remarks or jokes that denigrate one’s gender identity;
- Unwelcome sexual solicitations or advances;
- Displaying denigrating material of a sexual nature or towards a gender(s);
- Sexually suggestive or obscene comments or gestures;
- Unwelcome inquiries or comments about an individual’s sex life;
- Persistent unwanted contact or attention whether after the end of a consensual relationship or otherwise;
- Implied or expressed threat of reprisal or promise of reward for complying with a sexual solicitation or advance; or
- Sexual assault.
Definition of Violence:
For the purpose of this Policy, violence is defined as the attempted or actual exercise of physical force against an individual and any threatening statement or behaviour that gives any individual reason to believe that physical force will be used against them.
Responses to Discrimination, Harassment/Bullying, Sexual Harassment, and Violence:
- If a situation has escalated or is likely to escalate into a physical act of violence, contact the police immediately.
- An individual who has been a victim of violence will be given the opportunity to be examined by a paramedic and transported to a medical facility, if required.
- Any individual who violates or is suspected to have violated this Policy may be asked by Staff to leave the Premises and/or off-Premises event. Should that individual refuse to leave, Staff may contact law enforcement or other security for assistance to have this individual removed.
- If Staff, a Member, or another individual believes, in good faith, that behaviour directed towards them or witnessed by them constitutes discrimination, harassment and/or bullying, sexual harassment or violence, the Staff, Member, or other individual affected by the behaviour or who witnessed the behaviour may produce a written incident report. Should there be any uncertainty as to whether an incident report should be produced, the Staff, Member, or other individual affected by the behavior or who witnessed the behaviour should consult with the CEO or the Director of Operations, and if unavailable, either the Director of Professional Standards or the Director of Education, or their designates.
Procedures: Incident Reports and Investigation Steps
- Where possible, the parties involved are encouraged to resolve matters informally. However, MREA recognizes that addressing such issues directly can be uncomfortable. Therefore, an individual is not required to attempt to resolve the matter on their own before initiating a complaint under this Policy. If the matter is not resolved informally to the mutual satisfaction of the parties involved, or if either the CEO or the Director of Operations determines it necessary in their sole discretion, MREA will conduct a formal investigation into the incident.
- The individual subjected to the alleged conduct will be encouraged to provide a written incident report to the CEO or the Director of Operations as soon as reasonably possible after the alleged incident. An incident report should be a first-hand account, written by the individual affected by the alleged incident.
- The incident report will describe the facts of the incident as known and may include the following:
- a chronology of events;
- important background information;
- date and time of the incident;
- the individuals who were present (and names if known);
- where the incident took place (including location[s] either on, or off-Premises);
- approximate length of time of the incident;
- camera footage (if any); and
- date the incident report was made.
- The individual will deliver the incident report to the Director of Operations or, if the complaint involves the Director of Operations, to the CEO. Any witnesses may be asked by the Director of Operations or the CEO, as the case may be, to submit an independent incident report.
Responses to Incident Reports:
- The MREA is committed to investigating reported incidents of discrimination, harassment/bullying, sexual harassment, and violence in a timely, impartial, and objective manner. The investigation will be conducted by the CEO or the Director of Operations, an appropriate Staff person, an appropriate representative of MREA or a neutral third-party, where appropriate (if the CEO or the Director of Operations, as the case may be, determines this is necessary in their sole discretion).
- Both the individual subjected to the alleged incident (the “complainant”) and the individual who is the subject of the complaint (the “respondent”) may be required to participate in the investigation. After completion of the investigation, an investigation report will be created, summarizing the investigation.. The parties will be advised by the CEO or the Director of Operations, as the case may be, as to the outcome of the investigation. For privacy reasons, the complainant will not be entitled to notification of any corrective or disciplinary measures taken or proposed to be taken.
- If an incident is substantiated, reasonable corrective action will be taken with the aim to prevent future incidents.
- If an individual who is the subject of an incident report is not Staff nor a Member, the CEO shall determine the appropriate response(s) to the incident report. These responses may include:
- issuing a warning to this individual;
- prohibiting this individual from contacting Staff;
- prohibiting this individual from attending the Premises and/or off-Premises events;
- contacting law enforcement; and/or
- taking such other steps that the CEO determines to be appropriate to ensure a safe and respectful real estate association workplace.
- If an individual who is the subject of an incident report is Staff, the CEO and respective staff director will review the incident report (or, if the incident report involves the CEO, then the MREA president [the “President”] will review the incident report). The CEO and respective staff director (or, if the incident report involves the CEO, then the President) will address the incident report and determine an appropriate response which may include:
- disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment;
- contacting law enforcement; and/or
- such other steps that the CEO and respective staff director (or, if the incident report involves the CEO, then the President) determine to be appropriate to ensure a safe and respectful real estate association workplace.
- If the conduct concerns workplace violence, either the CEO or the Director of Operations may notify the Manitoba Government’s Workplace Safety and Health division if they determine, in their sole discretion, that the incident should be reported.
- The CEO, the Director of Operations, the President, or the respective staff director, as the case may be, will not disclose the name of a complainant or respondent nor the circumstances of the complaint to anyone except where disclosure is:
- necessary to investigate the complaint;
- required to take corrective action with respect to the complaint; or
- required by law.
- If the individual who is the subject of an incident report is a Member or a student, and the occurrence pertains to an education program or event, the CEO shall notify The Manitoba Securities Commission Inc. of the alleged incident.
- No reprisal or penalty will be taken against an individual who either brings forward a complaint in good faith or participates in an investigation. However, any individual who makes a complaint that is found to be made in bad faith or is frivolous and/or vexatious in nature may be subject to corrective measures (in the case of Staff, up to and including the termination of employment).
- This Policy does not prevent any individual subjected to the alleged conduct from filing a complaint with The Manitoba Human Rights Commission, or the police; nor is this Policy intended to discourage or prevent a complainant from exercising any other rights, actions, or remedies that may be available to them under any law.