Sexual Harassment Policy


The Policy Statement

Pitmaster BarBQue Co is committed to providing a safe environment for all its employees, free from discrimination on any ground and from harassment at work including sexual harassment.  PBC will operate a zero tolerance policy for any form of sexual harassment in the workplace, treat all incidents seriously and promptly investigate all allegations of sexual harassment. Any person found to sexually harass another will face disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from employment.

All complaints of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and treated with respect and in confidence.  No one will be victimized for making such a complaint.


Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which makes a person feel offended, humilitated and/or intimidated.  It includes situations where a person is asked to engage in sexual activity as a condition of that person’s employment, as well as situations which create an environment which is hostile, intimidating or humiliating for the recipient.  

Sexual harassment can involove one or more incidents and actions constituting harassment may be physical, verbal and non-verbal.  Examples of conduct or behaviour which constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical conduct
    • Unwelcome physical contact including patting, pinching, stroking, kissing, hugging, fondling, or inappropriate touching
    • Physical violence, including sexual assault
    • The use of job-related threats or rewards to solicit sexual favors
  • Verbal conduct
    • Comments on a worker’s appearance, age, private life, etc.
    • Sexual comments, stories and jokes
    • Sexual advances
    • Repeated and unwanted social invitations for dates or physical intimacy
    • Insults based on the sex of the worker
    • Sending sexuallyl explicit messages by phone or email
  • Non-verbal conduct
    • Display of sexually explicit or suggestive material
    • Sexually-suggestive gestures
    • Leering

Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment, regardless of their sex and of the sex of the harasser.  PBC recognizes that sexual harassment may also occur between people of the same sex. What matters is that the sexual conduct is unwanted and unwelcome by the person against whom the conduct is directed.

PBC recognizes that sexual harassment is a manifestation of power relationships and often occurs within unequal relationships in the workplace, for example between manager or supervisor and employee.

Anyone, including employees of PBC, clients, customers, or visitors who sexually harasses another will be reprimanded in accordance within this internal policy.

All sexual harassment is prohibited whether it takes place with PBC premises or outside, including at social events or training sessions sponsored by PBC.


Complaints procedures

Anyone who is subject to sexual harassment should, if possible, inform the alleged harasser that the conduct is unwanted and unwelcome.  PBC recognizes that sexual harassment may occur in unequal relationships (i.e. between a supervisor and his/her employee) and that it may not be possible for the victim to inform the alleged harasser.

If a victim cannot directly approach an alleged harasser, he/she can approach one of the designated staff members responsible for receiving complaints of sexual harassment.  This person could be another supervisor.

When a designated person receives a complaint of sexual harassment, he/she will:

  • Immediately record the dates, times and facts of the incident(s)
  • Ascertain the views of the victim as to what outcome he/she wants
  • Ensure that the victim understands the company’s procedures for dealing with the complaint
  • Discuss and agree the next steps:  either informal or formal complaint, on the understanding that choosing to resolve the matter informally does not preclude the victim from pursuing a formal complaint if he/she is not satisfied with the outcome
  • Keep a confidential record of all discussions
  • Respect the choice of the victim

Informal complaints mechanism

If the victim wishes to deal with the matter informally, the designated person will:

  • Give an opportunity to the alleged harasser to respond to the complaint
  • Ensure the alleged harasser understands the complaint
  • Facilitate discussion between both parties to achieve an informal resolution
  • Ensure that a confidential record is kept of what happens
  • Follow up after the outcome of the complaints mechanism to ensure that the behavior has stopped

Formal complaints mechanism

If the victim wants to make a formal complaint or the informal complaint mechanism has not led to a satisfactory outcome, the formal complaint mechanism should be used to resolve the matter.

The designated person who initially received the complaint will refer the matter to a senior manager to instigate a formal investigation.  The senior manager may deal with the matter him/herself.

The person carrying out the investigation will:

  • Interview the victim and the alleged harasser separately
  • Interview other relevant third parties separately
  • Decide whether or not the incidents(s) of sexual harassment took place
  • Produce a report detailing the investigations, findings, and any recommendations
  • If the harassment took place, decide what the appropriate remedy for the victim is, in consultation with the victim (i.e. an apology, a change to working arrangements, training for the harasser, discipline)
  • Follow up to ensure that the recommendations are implemented, that the behavior has stopped 
  • If it cannot determine that the harassment took place, he/she may still make recommendations to ensure proper functioning of the workplace
  • Keep a record of all actions taken
  • Ensure records are kept confidential
  • Ensure that the process is done as quickly as possible

Sanctions and disciplinary measures

Anyone who has been found to have sexually harassed another person under the terms of this policy is liable to any of the following sanctions:

  • Verbal or written warning
  • Adverse performance evaluation
  • Reduction in wages
  • Transfer
  • Demotion
  • Dismissal

The nature of the sanctions will depend on the gravity and extent of the harassment.  Suitable deterrent sanctions will be applied to ensure that incidents of sexual harassment are not treated as trivial.  Certain serious cases, including physical violence and/or rape, will result in immediate dismissal of the harasser.


Monitoring and evaluation

Supervisors and managers will report on compliance with this policy, including the number of incidents, how they were dealt with, and any recommendations made.