WIWC Participant Code of Conduct


1.1          Participants (both members and non-members) in West Island Women’s Centre activities shall conduct themselves with integrity and respect the Centre’s values of fostering a community for women which is open to all — without regard to age, race, or socio-economic background.

1.2          Participants in West Island Women’s Centre activities shall refrain from unacceptable behaviour including but not limited to: harassment of Centre staff, volunteers, members, and activity participants; disregarding the Centre’s By-Laws, rules and regulations, and Code of Conduct; vexatious conduct (offensive, humiliating); damaging the dignity or integrity of any person related to Centre activities; and behaviour resulting in a harmful work environment.


2.1          In accordance with SECTION 81.18 in the Quebec Labour Standards (Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail), Centre activity participants shall understand and not participate in any form of harassment of Centre staff, of Board Directors, members, participants, other volunteers, or community stakeholders.

Definitions of harassment:

VEXATIOUS BEHAVIOUR: This behaviour is humiliating, offensive or abusive for the person on the receiving end. It injures the person’s self-esteem and causes him anguish. It exceeds what a reasonable person considers appropriate within the context of his work.

REPETITIVE IN NATURE: Considered on its own, a verbal comment, a gesture or a behaviour may seem innocent. It is the accumulation or all of these behaviours which may become harassment. However a serious isolated act could be considered harassment.

VERBAL COMMENTS, GESTURES OR BEHAVIOURS THAT ARE HOSTILE OR UNWANTED: The comments, gestures or behaviours in question must be considered hostile or unwanted. If they are sexual in nature, they could be considered harassment even if the victim did not clearly express his or her refusal.

AFFECT THE PERSON’S DIGNITY OR INTEGRITY: Psychological or sexual harassment has a negative effect on the person. The victim may feel put down, belittled, denigrated both at the personal and professional levels. The physical health of the harassed person may also suffer.

HARMFUL WORK ENVIRONMENT: Psychological or sexual harassment makes the work environment harmful for the victim. The harassed person may, for example, be isolated from his colleagues due to the hostile verbal comments, gestures or behaviours towards him or concerning him.

A single serious conduct can also constitute psychological harassment if it carries such an attack and produces a continuous harmful effect for the employee.

2.4          All Centre activity participants will recognize that the West Island Women’s Centre does not tolerate or admit any form of psychological or sexual harassment in its business, whether:

  • by managers to employees;
  • between colleagues;
  • by employees to their superiors;
  • between Board Members
  • from any person associated with it: representative, customer, user, supplier, visitor or other person.

2.9          All Centre activity participants shall also recognize that Quebec Labor Standards provides criteria for determining what may be considered psychological or sexual harassment, namely:

  • vexatious conduct (offensive, humiliating);
  • that manifests itself repeatedly or in a single, serious act;
  • hostile (aggressive, threatening) or unwanted;
  • damaging the dignity or integrity of the person;
  • resulting in a harmful work environment (harmful, harmful).

These conditions include words, acts or gestures of a sexual nature.

2.10       Discrimination on any of the grounds listed in section 10 of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms may also constitute harassment: race, color, sex, pregnancy, orientation sex, marital status, age except to the extent permitted by law, religion, political beliefs, language, ethnic or national origin, social condition, disability or the use of a means to overcome this handicap.

2.11        All Centre participants shall refrain behaviors that may be related to psychological harassment

  • bullying, cyberbullying, threats, isolation;
  • offensive or defamatory remarks or actions about a person or his work;
  • verbal violence;
  • put downs.

2.12        All Centre participants shall refrain from behaviors that may be related to sexual harassment

  • Any form of unwanted attention or unwanted advance with a sexual connotation, for example:
  • insistent solicitation,
  • glances, kisses or touching,
  • sexist insults, rude remarks;
  • Words, jokes or images with sexual connotations by any means, technological or other.


3.1          The goal is to arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution for both parties.

3.2          Depending on the nature of the complaint, the following steps will be taken.

3.2.1      Complainant to provide, in writing or verbally expressed, the concern or incident and to request that the behaviour cease.

3.2.2      The Complainant should include a description of the incident(s), date, time, location, and whether others were involved.

3.2.3      Should the complaint not be directed at the Executive Director, the complaint should be submitted to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will then bring the complaint to the WIWC Executive Committee.

3.2.4      Should the complaint be directed at the Executive Director, the complaint should be submitted to the Chair of the Board. The Chair will then bring the complaint to the WIWC Executive Committee.

3.2.5      Mediation between the two parties will be facilitated by the Executive Director and/or the Chair of the Board.

3.2.6      Should mediation not be resolved in a mutually satisfactory resolution for both parties, we will proceed to formal recourse.

3.3          Formal recourse will reflect the development of a written plan of action (by the Executive Director and the Personnel Committee) and an outline of the recourse taken if the plan is not followed. If the Executive Director is involved in the complaint, the WIWC Executive Committee will be responsible for the development of the action plan and outline of the recourses to be taken if the plan is not followed.

Updated and Board Approved: June 2021