AAS WORKPLACE HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION POLICY
Armstrong Acting Studios (“AAS”) is committed to maintaining a Workplace environment that is free from Harassment and Discrimination, and that is supportive of the dignity and fair treatment of its Employees, Clients and Guests. AAS will not tolerate any form of Harassment or Discrimination as defined in this Policy, the Human Rights Code (“Code”) or the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”). In the event that Workplace Harassment or Discrimination is alleged, every effort will be made to work with the individuals involved to find a fair, reasonable, and timely resolution of the matter. This Policy applies to all AAS Employees, Clients and Guests.
Behaviour Within The Workplace
AAS Employees are expected to proceed in their daily duties in a manner that upholds the dignity of their profession, and to exhibit a commitment to learning, an enthusiasm for teaching, and a concern for the well-being of their fellow Employees, Clients, Guests, and the Studio. The following are examples of behaviour that is considered harassment, and will not be tolerated:
- use of profane, sexist, racist, or obscene language (unless referencing dialogue from sides)
- unwelcome remarks, jokes, name-calling, or insults made verbally or in writing that are demeaning.
- the display of racist, sexist, pornographic, or otherwise offensive pictures or material
- miming of a sexual act
- advances that are unwelcome or ought reasonably be known to be unwelcome, including touching, flirtation, propositions, requests for sexual favour or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
- intimidating, insulting, offensive, or berating behavior, regardless of the intended outcome (i.e. ‘bullying’ a client into an emotional state for a better take)
- belittling, demeaning, bullying or aggressive behavior
- isolating or making fun of a client or studio employee
- unwanted touching / touching of any kind without specific verbal permission (i.e. ‘may I adjust your hair for this self-tape?’)
- remarks of a sexual nature about persons at the studio
- comments on appearance (i.e. weight, body shape)
- being told what your type is (funny fat girl, etc.)
- comments on sexual orientation, gender identity, or ethnicity
- imitating the accent of an actor’s ethnic background
- inappropriate personal questions, regardless of intended outcome (i.e. ‘have you been naked with a man before?’ ‘Are you a virgin?’ etc.)
- inquiring after a client’s romantic status, and/or offering or asking for private contact info.
All of the above also applies to communications between Employees, Clients and Guests via email, phone, or text.
Employee Behaviour Outside The Workplace
Behaviour that is inappropriate inside the Studio is equally inappropriate outside of the Studio. In addition, in order to uphold professional boundaries.
- Employees should exercise caution if they develop a friendship with a Client, and make very clear the terms of the relationship, as they might be misunderstood by the Client. The Studio strongly advises against pursuing additional interactions outside of official AAS engagements.
- Employees should not pursue friendships outside the Workplace with a Client while they are presently enrolled in an AAS course. Nor can the Studio be held responsible for any mentorship offered outside of the scope of AAS enrolment, involvement or coaching session.
- If an Employee requires a 1:1 or private meeting with a Client for any reason, the Studio Manager should be made aware (in writing, via email) of both the meeting and the purpose it is required, and must take place in the studio or via AAS Formal Zoom Communication.
Behaviours That Do Not Constitute Harassment
- Respectful expressions of differences of opinion
- Offering constructive and authorized feedback about behaviour while in the learning environment (i.e., ‘I don’t see adequate preparation has gone into your work today’, ‘save the chat for a break, other actors are working’)
- Filing a formal complaint against someone
- Consent-based interaction in which the instructor (who has introduced the exercise) and actor (who is adhering to the consent-based exercise) are equally responsible for shared respect within the class exercise.
All Employees, Clients and Guests of AAS, regardless of position, must be dedicated to the prevention of Harassment, and are expected to adhere to the policies set out herein - without exception.
All Complaints will be investigated in a fair and timely manner. Complainants will in no way be penalized for reporting an Incident or participating in a Workplace Harassment Investigation.
Options For AAS Employees:
Harm can often be done unintentionally. In these instances, it is encouraged that any Employee who experiences Harassment at AAS make it known to the alleged Harasser that the behavior is offensive, unwelcome, contrary to Studio Policy, and must cease. Informing the offending individual directly is not mandatory, and if the Employee is not comfortable or the behaviour does not cease, they are encouraged to inform the Studio Manager.
If the Employee chooses to file a Complaint, then the Studio Manager will commence an Investigation into any circumstances which they believe may constitute a violation of AAS Policy. Employees must fully cooperate with any Investigation.
If the Complainant files a Complaint, AAS will ask what the desired outcome is (i.e., an apology, a mediated meeting)
The Studio Manager will prepare a report on the findings of the Investigation. The Parties to the Complaint will be advised of the results of the Investigation in writing, which will include any corrective action that has been taken or that will be taken as a result of the Investigation.
If the Studio Manager is the Respondent in a Complaint, the Complainant should notify the Artistic Director or Owner of such Incident.
If the Artistic Director is the Respondent in a Complaint, the Complainant should notify the Owner of such Incident.
If the Owner is the Respondent in a Complaint, the Complainant may choose to notify the Artistic Director, the Studio Manager, at which point AAS will seek internal resolution which may include suspension of all teaching privileges.
In any instance if the Complainant feels it necessary, they always have the right to go with such Incident and consult the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre.
For AAS Clients:
An Incident Report Form can be accessed below. The Incident Report Form will also be included in the Class Notice email sent to Clients registered for any course at AAS. The Form will allow Clients to report an Incident anonymously if they wish. The Form will be received by the Studio Manager and Artistic Director.
The Studio Manager may commence an Investigation into any circumstances which they believe may constitute a violation of Studio Policy. Employees must fully cooperate with any Investigation.
The Studio Manager will prepare a report on the findings of the Investigation. The Complainant (if known) and the Respondent will be advised of the results of the Investigation in writing, which will include any corrective action that has been taken or that will be taken as a result of the Investigation.
Nothing in this Policy is intended to prevent a Complainant from pursuing the processes available through the Code, the OHSA, or criminal prosecution.
Employees may also contact the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre to address Workplace Harassment.