Staff Report #4
February 26, 2020
To All Commissioners
Re: 2019 Mutual Respect/Human Rights Summary Report
The report be NOTED and FILED.
The London Transit Commission policies on Human Rights and Diversity (Anti-Harassment, Anti-Sexual Harassment & Anti-Discrimination) and Mutual Respect in the Workplace address the Commission’s expectations of employees and the members of the public that utilize London Transit services. For each respective policy, an associated written procedure outlines the complaint procedure, investigation process and decision-making process, including the option to appeal decisions reached to a higher level. These policies and related procedures have been reviewed with all employees and are incorporated into the orientation-training program for all new employees. As set out in Staff Report #1, dated February 26, 2020, these policies were subject of a review undertaken by Rubin Thomlinson in 2018/2019. The report recommends a number of amendments to the respective policies and related procedures in effort to simplify the process and ensure a general understanding of the elements relating to the processes by all stakeholders.
In the first quarter of each year, Human Resources completes an assessment comparing year-over-year trends relating to London Transit’s Policy and related complaints that have been filed and investigated. The assessment identifies key trends and issues that require focus going forward, as well as those which may require specific initiatives to be undertaken in an effort to reverse and/or slow the rate of troubling trends. One of the recommendations stemming from the final report from Rubin Thomlinson was to make public the annual statistics relating to complaints of this nature.
Summaries of the complaints/investigations related to both of the above-noted policies for the years 2016-2019 are set out below, noting the information provided is summarized at a level high enough to ensure privacy for all parties involved in the complaint and investigation processes.
Human Rights Complaint Process / Summary
The Director of Human Resources or designate (Manager of Human Resources) investigates Human Rights complaints with the respective Department Director of the involved parties, in accordance with the related Policy and Complaint Procedures. If the complaint involves a bargaining unit employee, the Director of Human Resources or designate will conduct the investigation with an ATU Local 741 Union Executive appointed by the ATU Local 741 President in accordance with the related procedures. A summary of the 2016 to 2019 complaints follows, noting internal indicates those complaints filed by a London Transit employee and external indicates those filed by a member of the public.
Summary of Human Rights Complaints – 2016 to 2019
The following bullets provide additional statistical information based on the total number of complaints (77) received over the four years. The approach of providing commentary in aggregate is done in order to ensure the privacy of those that have filed complaints, recognizing the relatively small numbers in any given year.
- 2019 saw an increase in the number of internal complaints, noting almost half of the four year total were received in 2019. The increased trend is believed to be related to the employer’s additional emphasis on human rights education and expectations resulting in employees’ willingness to bring forward concerns and have them addressed under the respective policy. The employer will continue to monitor this trend going forward.
- Over the period, 48 of the external complaints were filed by members of the public, with the Respondent being a London Transit employee, with the remaining seven external complaints filed directly with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal concerning other matters.
- Over the period, the 22 internal complaints filed by LTC employees, are broken down as follows:
- nine complaints with the employee filing the complaint against a member of the public
- ten complaints with an employee filing the complaint against a co-worker
- three complaints with the employee filing the complaint against management
- The grounds for the complaints received are broken down as follows:
- Disability 43%
- Race/colour/ethnicity 40%
- Sexual Orientation/Gender 10%
- Other 7%
In response to these trends, increased focus has been included in training and corporate messaging regarding Priority/Courtesy Seating policies and Service Animal policies to mitigate the number of complaints relating to disability. The Diversity Committee has continued its work to educate all employees on diversity-related topics (e.g. becoming an LGBT+ ally, cultural differences in body language communication, etc.) including but not limited to promoting intercultural awareness.
In 84% of the cases, the Investigators were able to make a determination of “conclusive findings,” meaning that London Transit was able to substantiate the facts presented by the parties based on the balance of probabilities.
As noted in the chart above, the majority of Human Rights complaints received are from LTC customers. Over the four year period, 77% of external human rights complaints received were found not to violate London Transit’s Human Rights Policy, based on the completed investigation findings. Of significance, 30% of the complaints where no violation of the Human Rights Policy was found, still necessitated corrective action on the basis of customer service being provided which was not in keeping with London Transit’s SOP’s or Customer Service training. In response to these trends, additional focus has been applied to training and communications on including Advanced Customer Service, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Human Resources will continue to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the aforementioned training programs concerning complaints of human rights violations, with increased focus in the following areas:
- continue to implement a communications strategy to address/support Operators in their interactions with customers (i.e. specific to complaints received.).
- forward the summary findings to the Expect Respect Working Group as additional information to assess in their review.
Mutual Respect Complaint Process / Summary
Mutual Respect investigations cover a broad range of issues, from minor interpersonal conflicts to more serious issues, such as breaches of privacy and/or harassment. The respondent’s direct Manager, via the problem resolution process, investigates mutual respect complaints and when involving bargaining unit employees, the co-investigator is appointed from the ATU Local 741 Executive. The final investigation report, including findings and any recommendations, is subject to the concurrence of the Department Director.
London Transit conducts an annual review of all Mutual Respect complaints received and related investigations into same. The chart below provides a summary of the total number of Mutual Respect complaints received each year over the four years, broken down by department.
Summary Mutual Respect Complaints 2016 to 2019
The following provides additional information on the total number of complaints (37) received over the four year period. This aggregate approach is done to ensure the privacy of those that have filed complaints, recognizing the relatively small numbers in each given year.
- Over the period, the 37 internal complaints filed by LTC employees, are broken down as follows:
- 31 complaints with the employee filing the complaint against a co-worker
- six complaints with the employee filing the complaint against a manager/supervisor
- In 92% of the complaints filed, the investigators were able to make a determination of “conclusive finding” meaning that the investigators were able to substantiate the facts presented by the parties based on the balance of probabilities.
- 65% of those investigations with conclusive findings resulted in either corrective (43%) or other (22%) action being taken (i.e. retrain, policy review), demonstrating that the London Transit takes non-compliance with the Mutual Respect in the Workplace Policy seriously.
This report will be summarized and shared with all employees.
Julie Hall, Manager of Human Resources
Joanne Galloway, Director of Human Resources
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager