Informal Resolution

Reminder: The information provided in the Employer Toolkit and in this training are suggested best practices, and are not intended to provide legal advice. If you are uncertain at any point, please check with a lawyer on whether this information is appropriate for your organization. 

The sample Workplace Sexual Harassment (WSH) Policy sets out three informal resolution processes. Use caution when implementing an informal resolution for complaints of workplace sexual harassment. 

Where it is determined that an informal process is an appropriate way to respond to a complaint of sexual harassment, the following is a selected list of options:

  • Facilitation: facilitated discussion between the complainant and respondent by a qualified third-party;
  • Notification: the [Position A] or the [Position B] notifies the respondent that the behaviour must stop immediately;
  • Education: the [Position A] or the [Position B] arranges coaching, support, and educational opportunities for the respondent and/or other members of the workplace.

The employer is to provide the Respondent with the following information to help the Respondent decide if the informal resolution process is the right choice for the Respondent:

Informal resolution requires the voluntary participation of both the complainant and the respondent. Prior to a respondent choosing to be involved in any informal process, they will be provided with: 

  • written notice that a complaint has been brought against them and that at this time the response to the complaint will be informal; 
  • a copy of the complaint and this policy; 
  • details of available supports and resources; 
  • a reminder that the choice to voluntarily participate or engage in any part of the informal process will not be considered as evidence that the respondent has breached the policy;
  • a reminder that the information learned while proceeding under the informal process can be used later if the matter proceeds to a formal investigation. Such information may also be disclosed to outside parties if required by law; 
  • a reminder that if the respondent is not willing to voluntarily participate in the desired informal process, the [Position A] may proceed to a formal investigation; and
  • a reminder that this policy prohibits retaliation.

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