Discrimination & Harassment Policy


Adler Graduate Professional School (ADLER) is committed to creating and maintaining a work and study environment in which people are treated with decency, dignity, and respect. We aim to create a work and study environment characterized by mutual trust and the absence of intimidation, oppression, and exploitation. We recognize the right of employees and students to work and learn in a safe yet stimulating environment. This is an important goal of ADLER.  Consequently, ADLER will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment of any kind, and ADLER will enforce this policy and seek to prevent, correct, and discipline behavior that violates this policy.

All employees, students, and others lawfully in the ADLER workplace, regardless of their status in the organization or broader society, are expected to comply with this policy and to take appropriate measures to ensure that prohibited conduct does not occur.  

Disciplinary action will be taken against any employee, contractor or student who violates this policy. This may include verbal or written reprimand, suspension, or termination of employment or expulsion from studies. 


For purposes of this policy and the ADLER Dispute Resolution Process, and in accordance with the Human Rights Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and other legislation, these terms have the following meaning:

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

The Ontario law intended to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, and premises on or before January 1, 2025, by developing, implementing, and enforcing accessibility standards.


Adler Graduate Professional School.

Annual Review

Review by ADLER of its workplace harassment policy in compliance with section 32.0.1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Different ways parties to a dispute can resolve differences without a formal judicial or quasi-judicial hearing. ADR processes may include mediation, arbitration, and neutral evaluation. 


Person who alleges that they are a victim of discrimination or harassment.


Any practice or behaviour, whether intentional or not, which has a negative impact on an individual or group based on one or more of the prohibited grounds under the Human Rights Code, except where the conduct is permitted under the said Human Rights Code. Discrimination may flow from unequal treatment or from the same treatment which has an unequal effect on an individual or group in violation of the Human Rights Code.


The existence and promotion of variations of different characteristics that make members of an organization unique. These characteristics include cognitive and intellectual skills and personality traits, in addition to identifiers such as race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and cultural background and experiences. 


A person employed by ADLER in a capacity other than that of faculty member. 

Faculty Member

A person employed by ADLER as a professor, or instructor or in any other capacity of imparting knowledge to the learners at ADLER.


Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against an employee, faculty member, or student or another worker in the workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.

Hate activity

Comment or actions against a person or group motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor. Includes, but is not limited to, hate crime, hate propaganda, advocating genocide, telephone/electronic communications promoting hate, and the public display of hate through any notice, sign, symbol, or emblem.

Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19

Ontario law that protects persons from employment-related discrimination and harassment based on prohibited grounds and recognizes the dignity and worth of every person.


Thorough, systematic attempt by an impartial person to learn the facts about a complaint under this policy to determine whether the policy has been violated.


Any individual to whom human resource management powers, duties, or functions such as hiring, and terminating have been delegated. 

Natural Justice

The right to an impartial decision-making authority, and to a fair hearing. 

  • The right to notice – to be informed about accusations made against you, and important information about a case in which you are involved
  • The right to a fair hearing
  • The right to adjudicators free from bias
  • The right to be heard and present your point of view
  • Accessible
  • Timely 

Occupational Health and Safety Act R.S.O. 1990, c.0.1 and its regulations

Ontario law that outlines legislative obligations to protect workers, roles and responsibilities for all parties, and penalties for unsafe working conditions and practices.

Poisoned work environment

Negative, hostile, or unpleasant workplace caused by unwelcome comments or conduct that tend to be demeaning. A poisoned work environment may result from multiple events or a serious single event, remark, or action.

Preliminary assessment

Initial review of issues, allegations, or complaints under this policy to clarify details, consider whether there has been a potential policy violation, and determine appropriate resolution mechanisms or other actions.

Prohibited (or protected) grounds

Personal attributes that are recognized as the targets of harassing and discriminatory actions under the Ontario Human Rights Code.


Person alleged to have harassed or discriminated against the complainant.

Sexual harassment

Behavior characterized by unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in the workplace, or other professional or social situation connected to the workplace. This behaviour should be reasonably known to be unwelcome.

Sexual solicitation and related reprisal

Solicitation or advance made by an employee, faculty member or anyone in a position to confer, grant, or deny a benefit or advancement to another employee, faculty member or student where the person making the solicitation or advance knows or ought reasonably to know that it is unwelcome; or a reprisal or threat of reprisal for the rejection of a sexual solicitation or advance where the reprisal is made or threatened by an employee or faculty member in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement.


Any person enrolled to learn or study at ADLER for a degree, certificate or any kind of programme, regardless of the duration of the programme.


Has the same meaning as defined in s.1 of Occupational Health and Safety Act and means “a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation but does not include an inmate of a correctional institution or like institution or facility who participates inside the institution or facility in a work project or rehabilitation program.”


Has the same meaning as defined in s. 1 of Occupational Health and Safety Act and means “any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in or near which a worker works.”

Workplace restoration

Promoting and/or restoring positivity and respect in workplace relationships following a complaint of discrimination or harassment.

ADLER Principles

  1. ADLER is committed to an inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible work and learning environment and promotes social equality, acceptance, understanding, and respect among its students, graduates, faculty, staff, clientele, and society. ADLER will not tolerate workplace discrimination or harassment.
  2. Every employee, student, faculty and/or staff member has the right to work in an inclusive, respectful workplace free of discrimination and harassment.
  3. All employees are responsible for respecting the dignity and rights of coworkers and the public they serve.
  4. All students are responsible for respecting the dignity and rights of fellow students, faculty and staff members, and all persons they encounter while studying at ADLER.
  5. ADLER is committed to the prevention of discrimination and harassment and considers this to be a shared responsibility involving all members of the ADLER community.
  6. Consistent with ADLER belief that the basic and material component of human services is relationships, including professionals’ relationship with themselves, regular education and training about rights and responsibilities under this policy is required to fulfill obligations under the Canadian Charter of rights and freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code, other relevant laws, and this policy.
  7. ADLER employs proactive cost-effective strategies that reflect the school’s core values of integrity, authenticity, creativity, courage, continued learning, self-Responsibility, appreciation of uniqueness, collaboration, and compassion, in preventing discrimination and harassment
  8. ADLER prevention strategies rely on a critical analysis of relevant data, the various dimensions of diversity such as race, gender, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, and policy and program measures
  9. Allegations of discrimination and harassment are treated seriously and handled confidentially in a dignified and respectful manner in accordance with this policy and applicable.
  10. The needs of persons with disabilities must be accommodated, in compliance with relevant law, to enable full participation in prevention and resolution processes.
  11. Enforcement of this policy must be in conformity with the principles of natural justice.

Prohibited Conduct 

Prohibited conduct includes any breach of the Adler Graduate Professional School Code of Conduct.

ADLER, in compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and all other relevant laws, enforces this policy in accordance with the following guidelines:


It is a violation of the ADLER’s policy to discriminate in the provision of academic and employment opportunities, benefits or privileges; to create discriminatory work or learning conditions; or to use discriminatory evaluative standards in employment and learning if the basis of that discriminatory treatment is, in whole or in part, related to the protected grounds outlined in the Ontario Human Rights Code, listed below. 

  • Age
  • Ancestry, colour, race
  • Citizenship
  • Ethnic origin
  • Place of origin
  • Creed
  • Disability
  • Family status
  • Marital status (including single status)
  • Gender identity, gender expression
  • Receipt of public assistance (in housing only)
  • Record of offences (in employment only)
  • Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • Sexual orientation.


Harassment is engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct which is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.”

ADLER recognizes that harassment can:

  • Create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work and learning environment.
  • Unreasonably interfere with an individual’s performance.
  • Adversely affect an individual’s employment and learning opportunities


The following are examples of harassing conduct.  This is not an exhaustive list:

  • Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, intimidating or hostile acts that relate to race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or disability.
  • Jokes or pranks that are hostile or demeaning regarding race, national or ethnic origin, skin colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical ability, gender or, sexual orientation.


Sexual harassment is specifically prohibited by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Ontario Human Rights Code. Sexual harassment is unlawful and against ADLER policy.

Disciplinary Measures

Any employee or student who engages in harassing behaviour, whether sexual or non-sexual, is subject to investigation, adjudication and disciplinary measures, which includes termination of employment or student status.

There are two types of sexual harassment:

“Quid pro quo” harassment, where submission to harassment is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions. Employee benefits such as raises, promotions and better working hours are directly linked to compliance with sexual advances. Therefore, only someone in a supervisory capacity (with the authority to grant such benefits) can engage in quid pro quo harassment. 

An example of this would be a supervisor promising better working conditions or even a pay increase if she/he/they goes out on a date with them. Another example would be a professor or instructor telling a student she risks failing her/his/their course if they do not have sex with them. 

A hostile work environment can be created by anyone in the workspace, be they supervisors, other employees and students or persons lawfully in the ADLER workplace. 

Hostile environment harassment consists of verbiage of a sexual nature, unwelcome sexual materials, or even unwelcome physical contact as a regular part of the work environment. Texts, e-mails, cartoons, or posters of a sexual nature; vulgar or lewd comments or jokes; or unwanted touching or fondling all fall into this category.

Sexual harassment occurs when unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature:

  • Is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or learning.
  • Is used as a basis for an employment or learning-related decision.

Unreasonably interferes with the performance of an employee or student or creates an intimidating, hostile or otherwise offensive environment.

Sexual harassment can take different forms. The following examples of sexual harassment are intended to be guidelines and are not exclusive when determining whether there has been a violation of this policy:

Verbal sexual harassment includes innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, lewd remarks, and threats; requests for any type of sexual favour (this includes repeated, unwelcome requests for dates); and verbal abuse or “kidding” that is oriented toward a prohibitive form of harassment, including that which is sexual in nature and unwelcome.

Nonverbal sexual harassment includes the distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material, including calendars, posters and cartoons that are sexually suggestive or show hostility toward an individual or group because of sex; suggestive or insulting sounds; leering; staring; whistling; obscene gestures; content in letters and notes, facsimiles, e-mail, photos, text messages, tweets and Internet postings; or another form of communication that is sexual in nature and offensive.

Physical sexual harassment includes unwelcome, unwanted physical contact, including touching, tickling, pinching, patting, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing, and fondling and forced sexual intercourse or assault.

Courteous, mutually respectful, pleasant, consensual interactions between employees and students, that are appropriate in the workplace and acceptable to and welcomed by both parties are not considered to be harassment, including sexual harassment.


No hardship, loss, benefit, or penalty may be imposed on a student or employee in response to:

  • Filing or responding to a bona fide complaint of discrimination or harassment.
  • Appearing as a witness in the investigation of a complaint.
  • Serving as an investigator of a complaint.

Retaliation or attempted retaliation in response to lodging a complaint or invoking the complaint process is a violation of this policy. Any person who is found to have violated this aspect of the policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from ADLER.

Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships

Relationships between staff or faculty and enrolled students are prohibited during the time that a student is enrolled in any ADLER program. Such relationships tend to create compromising conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts.

 In addition, such relationships may give rise to the perception by others that there is favouritism or bias in academic and administrative decisions affecting the student. It is recognised that because of the uneven balance of power within these relationships, consent by a student is necessarily suspect and may reasonably be viewed as the result of coercion or intimidation.

The atmosphere created by such appearances of bias, favouritism, intimidation, coercion, or exploitation undermines the spirit of trust and mutual respect that is essential to a healthy work environment.

If a faculty member enters a consensual relationship that is romantic or sexual in nature with a student, they should be aware that such consequences can include dismissal.

Once the relationship is made known to ADLER, the school will review the situation with the senior administration, bearing in mind all the facts and determine an appropriate course of action. The administration will take the option least disruptive to the student.

Duties and Responsibilities

ADLER is responsible for complying with obligations under the Code, the OHSA and regulations, other relevant legislation, this policy and other policies, programs and procedures that support an inclusive, respectful workplace free from discrimination and harassment

The CEO of ADLER shall have primary responsibility for the implementation and publication of this policy.

Faculty members, staff, and students of ADLER must demonstrate standards of behaviour consistent with the principles outlined in this policy.

Faculty members, staff, and ADLER students must complete education and/or training on the content of this policy and associated programs (including relevant accessibility, employment, and human rights responsibilities).

  1. Existing faculty members, staff, and ADLER students must participate in education and/or training at least once a year. Newly appointed faculty members and staff as well as new students must complete this education and/or training as part of their orientation and in any event not later than three months after arrival at ADLER.


Every person at ADLER responsible for evaluating students or staff must integrate discrimination and harassment prevention responsibilities into performance commitments.

Faculty members, staff, and students must immediately bring information about alleged criminal behaviour related to discrimination and harassment to the attention of their supervisors or a management representative designated for this purpose.

The CEO must ensure this policy is posted in a conspicuous place in the ADLER workplace.

When appropriate, the CEO or the CEO’s delegates must advise members of the public, including visitors to ADLER facilities or individuals conducting business with the school that they are expected to refrain from discrimination or harassment of faculty members, staff, students, and other members of the public.

This policy must be reviewed annually as provided in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Dispute resolution

An employee or student who wishes to pursue a concern arising from alleged discrimination, harassment, or other unwarranted treatment, may submit a complaint in accordance with the Adler Graduate Professional School Dispute Resolution Process.

Link to Policy


All students and faculty of ADLER degree, transition equivalency, graduate diplomas, certificates, and courses and all ADLER employees are entitled to rights as defined in Ontario by the Human Rights Code and guided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. With respect to disputes, including complaints, grievances, and academic or administrative appeals, those rights are protected by a set of informal and formal procedures and guidelines designed to deal with any such issues.

The Dispute Resolution Process can be accessed by ADLER Community Members in the following circumstances:

  • A student is appealing the outcomes of an Academic Standing Committee
  • A complaint has been made regarding a faculty or staff member at ADLER
  • A report of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or other human rights violation has been submitted about any member of the ADLER community
  • A human rights violation related to school policies, procedures or actions is alleged


Any resolution process, whether formal or informal, must include the following principles of natural justice. The natural justice principle of the “presumption of innocence until proven guilty” shall underlie all policies and procedures with respect to disputes, including appeals, complaints, and grievances. Due processes presented herein are designed to be reasonable, understandable, and communicated to students, staff, and faculty in clear and unequivocal terms.

Any interim sanctions that are put in place during an investigation are not a comment on guilt or innocence. They may only be imposed under the following guidelines:

  • they must be time limited, usually until the completion of the Committee of Inquiry process
  • they must be clearly defined and communicated
  • they must be minimally restrictive to achieve the intended purpose
  • they must be implemented only to prevent further harm or possible harm related to the complaint


All persons involved should:

  • know and understand the nature of the complaint,
  • have the right to be heard as part of the resolution process and before any disciplinary action is taken,
  • have the right to a fair and expeditious resolution to the dispute.


Due processes have been set up as described below.