Dear fellow Equity members,

It has reached my attention that there may be some confusion about recent bylaw changes regarding the filing of workplace harassment complaints. (The notice of this bylaw change was included in your recent dues receipt/invoice.) 

I'm writing today to clarify those recent changes, and raise awareness about options for members who experience incidents of harassment. Council not only changed the deadlines for filing a complaint going forward, but we also created a special resolution that opened a two-year window between July 6, 2018 and July 5, 2020 when no time limit would apply between when an incident occurred and the filing of a complaint
Bylaw 39.1 states:

As of July 6, 2018, for a period of two years, there shall be no deadline for complaints filed under Article 35(i), following which time the deadline expressed in Article 39(a)(ii) will apply, including retroactively. Further, recognizing that Council may be asked to consider an unusual number of complaints as a result of this special resolution, complaints filed under this special resolution are recognized as an “extraordinary circumstance” under the terms of Article 45; both Council and staff will attend to them as expeditiously as possible, and the timeline for completion in Article 44 is automatically extended as needed to ensure that each complaint receives a fair and thorough process.
In other words, if:

  • an alleged perpetrator is (or was) an Equity member; and 
  • an incident occurred while working under an Equity contract,

a member may bring forward a complaint related an incident that occurred as far back as when Canadian Equity was founded.
After July 5, 2020, Bylaw 39(a) will take effect.

39. In order to ensure a fair process for all parties to a complaint, and so that the Association has a reasonable prospect for definitive findings and resolution of the matter, complaint filings must be made in a timely manner.
(a) The filing deadlines for complaints are as follows. For a complaint involving:
      (i) sexual assault: no deadline.
      (ii) workplace violence, or workplace discrimination, harassment or reprisal filed under Article 35(i): two (2) years from the date on which the complainant became aware of the incident(s) giving rise to the complaint.
As with anything related to safe and respectful workspaces, I encourage any member to contact a Respectful Workspace Advisor (RWA) who will assist you in determining your best course of action as a result of these changes. Email or call 1-800-387-1856 (416-867-9165 in Toronto). Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

On a different note, I wanted to say that we‎ just completed the inaugural session of the 2018-2021 Council earlier this week. We elected Ryan G. Hinds, Councillor for the Ontario region, as the new Second Vice-President.‎ Ryan will serve as Council's liaison with you - the Equity membership. He is also chair of the Member Engagement and Education Committee. Please contact Ryan at anytime with suggestions, concerns or questions at Contact information for all of the 2018-2021 Councillors can be found here.

Scott Bellis
Equity Council President