# 2014-050 - Harassment
F&R Date: 2014–08–29
The grievor argued that inappropriate acts, errors, omissions and inaccuracies occurred in response to and during the handling of five harassment complaints he submitted via the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) harassment resolution mechanism.
There was no Initial Authority (IA) decision rendered in this matter as the IA was unable to adjudicate within the prescribed time limits and the grievor did not grant an extension.
The Committee had to determine whether the grievor's five harassment complaints were dealt with and administered in accordance with the policy.
With regard to the first complaint, the Committee noted that it had previously reviewed it in the course of its examination of a previous grievance submitted by the same grievor. Having already found that the language allegedly used by the Respondent, if proven to be true, would amount to harassment, the Committee reaffirmed its earlier recommendation that an investigation be conducted.
With regard to the second and the third complaints, the Committee found that neither of the Situational Assessment (SA) was conducted in accordance with the Harassment Prevention and Resolution Guidelines (Guidelines) as neither Responsible Officer (RO) had all of the facts to render a decision and neither provided appropriate disclosure to the grievor. The Committee found that in both instances the alleged conduct met, at face value, the definition of harassment. The Committee found that the language allegedly used, if proven to be true, was disturbing and inappropriate and indicative of individuals who lost their composure and treated one of their subordinates with disregard and contempt, in a manner that is contrary to the military ethos. The Committee recommended that a harassment investigation be conducted into both matters.
With regard to the fourth complaint, the Committee found that the RO had no discretion to refuse to perform a SA, regardless of whether or not the Respondent participated. Upon review of the grievor's allegations, the Committee found that the alleged conduct did not meet, at face value, the definition of harassment as the Respondent's alleged comment amounted to the proper exercise of responsibility and authority. Accordingly, the Committee found that there was no requirement to conduct an investigation into the matter.
Concerning the fifth complaint, while the Committee noted that the grievor refused to provide the names of witnesses, it was of the opinion that this did not preclude the performance of a SA. The Committee found that the alleged conduct met, at face value, the definition of harassment as the behaviour, if proven to be true, would be amount to harassment. The Committee recommended that a harassment investigation be conducted.
CDS Decision Summary
CDS Decision Date: 2016–01–08
The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings that most of the allegations did meet the definition of harassment. However, the CDS did not agree with the Committee's recommendations that these allegations of harassment be investigated. For example, for one of them, considering that the alleged harasser admitted his conduct, the CDS directed that he receives harassment prevention counselling and therefore, an investigation was not warranted. For another allegation, the CDS was of the view that an investigation was not required since the alleged harasser was no longer a CAF member. The CDS agreed with the Committee's finding that the RO did not perform the SA as per the Guidelines. However, given the circumstances of the grievor's files, the CDS was of the view that the RO's breach of procedural fairness was eventually cured at the final authority level during the disclosure process. The CDS determined that the RO exercised due diligence and ensure that the spirit and principles of the Guidelines were met. For some allegations, the CDS added that he found no evidence that the RO conspired against the grievor or demonstrated intent to deceive him.
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