Staff Report #1
February 24, 2021
To All Commissioners
Re: 2020 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. The respective policies and associated written procedures outline 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. They are incorporated into the orientation-training program for all new employees.
In August 2020, the newly revised Human Rights and Diversity Policy (Anti-Harassment, Anti-Sexual Harassment & Anti-Discrimination) and Mutual Respect in the Workplace Policy and Complaint Procedures were rolled out. The rollout included re-writing and distributing the London Transit’s Employee Handbook (General Overview Information Policies and Procedures), distribution of brochures in employee paystubs, posters, and communications on internal screens.
All employees were targeted to receive the Human Rights and Diversity (Anti-Harassment, Anti-Sexual Harassment & Anti-Discrimination) and Mutual Respect in the Workplace training by the end of the year 2021. Given the fluctuating employee resource pool associated with varying service levels during the pandemic, Human Resources was able to deliver the training to all active employees in 2020.
Human Resources completes an assessment in the first quarter of each year, comparing year-over-year trends relating to these policies and related complaints filed and investigated. The annual assessment identifies critical trends and issues that require focus going forward and those requiring specific initiatives to be undertaken to reverse and/or slow the rate of troubling trends.
Summaries of the complaints and investigations related to both of the above-noted policies for the years 2017-2020 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 all alleged Human Rights complaints received. The respective department Director of the involved parties is advised accordingly. If the complaint is received from a bargaining unit employee, the Director of Human Resources or designate will investigate the matter with an ATU Local 741 Union Executive member appointed by the ATU Local 741 President. The final investigation report, including findings and any recommendations, is subject to the department Director’s concurrence.
The following chart provides a summary of Human Rights complaints received in each of the years 2017 through 2020. The internal complaint column represents those claims filed by a London Transit employee, and the external complaint column represents those filed by a member of the public. Both categories also include any complaints filed directly with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
Summary of Human Rights Complaints – 2017 to 2020
The following provides additional information based on the total number of complaints (80) received over the four year period 2017 through 2020. The approach of providing commentary in aggregate is done to ensure the privacy of those who have filed complaints, recognizing the relatively small numbers in any given year.
- Within the four year period, there were 29 internal complaints filed by London Transit employees, broken down as follows:
- 48% stemmed from a customers’ treatment towards Operators relating to ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin or creed;
- 38% stemmed from employees filing complaints against co-workers; and
- 14% stemmed from employees filing complaints against members of management.
- Within the four year period, 51 complaints were filed by members of the public. Of these, eight external complaints were filed directly with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, and all but three remain outstanding.
- The respective policy and Ontario Human Rights Code prohibit discrimination on protected grounds. Of the 80 complaints filed over the four years, they fall under the following grounds (shown as groupings to ensure confidentiality is maintained)
- 40% Ancestry, Color, Race, Citizenship, Ethnic Origin, Place of Origin, Creed;
- 44% Disability;
- 10% Gender Identify, Gender Expression, Sexual Orientation, Sex; and
- 6% Other (age, Family Status, Marital Status, Receipt of public assistance, Record of Offense).
- Investigators were able to make a determination of “Conclusive Findings” in 90% of the complaints, meaning that London Transit was able to substantiate the facts presented by the parties based on the balance of probabilities.
- With respect to Investigation findings, 60% of complaints were found not to violate London Transit’s Human Rights and Diversity Policy (Anti-Harassment, Anti-Sexual Harassment & Anti-Discrimination). Of significance, 30% of the complaints where no violation of the Human Rights policy was found still necessitated some form of corrective action. In these cases, the actions of the Respondent violated other London Transit policies and/or procedures.
Over the past two years, there appears to be an upward trend in internal complaints. The trend can be attributed to the employer’s enhanced emphasis on Human Rights education and employees’ willingness and comfort level to bring issues forward to be addressed under the respective policy.
Human Resources will continue to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the training as mentioned above, including employee’s understanding of the respective policies and related complaint procedure and in 2021 will focus on the following:
- continuing to implement communication strategies to address/support Operators in their interactions with customers (i.e. specific to complaints received);
- sharing the summary findings to the Expect Respect Working Group as supporting information for their work; and
- sharing the summary findings to the Diversity Committee, who will continue 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.
Mutual Respect Complaint Process / Summary
Mutual Respect investigations cover a broad range of issues, from minor interpersonal conflicts to more serious issues, such as privacy and/or harassment breaches. The Department Manager designate investigates alleged Mutual Respect complaints received. The respective Department Director of the involved parties is advised accordingly. If the complaint is received from a bargaining unit employee, the Department Manager or designate will investigate the matter with an ATU Local 741 Union Executive member appointed by the ATU Local 741 President. The final investigation report, including findings and any recommendations, is subject to the Department Director’s concurrence.
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 year period 2017 through 2020.
Summary Mutual Respect Complaints 2017 to 2020
The following provides additional information on the total number of complaints (40) received over the four year period. This aggregate approach ensures the privacy of those who have filed complaints, recognizing the relatively small numbers in each given year.
- The total of 40 internal complaints filed by LTC employees and are broken down as follows:
- 29 filed a complaint against a co-worker
- 11 filed a complaint against a manager/supervisor
- Investigators were able to make a determination of “Conclusive Findings” in 93% of the cases, meaning that London Transit was able to substantiate the facts presented by the parties based on the balance of probabilities.
- 61% of those investigations with conclusive findings resulted in either corrective (48%) or other (13%) 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
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager