Harassment policy coming

Qualicum Beach town council directs staff to present policy for a vote a future meeting

Town of Qualicum Beach staff have been directed to prepare a policy regarding harassment in the workplace after council passed a motion Monday night put forward by Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer.

Luchtmeijer said most municipal offices have such a policy in place.

“No one here would like to think we have to use that, but it’s important we have it in our town policies,” said Luchtmeijer.

Luchtmeijer previously gave notice of motion for this, letting councillors know it was coming and assuring it was on the agenda. Only his name was on the document presented in the agenda Monday night.

“I think this is a good step in the right direction,” said Mayor Teunis Westbroek.

The wording of the motion’s preamble included: “The Town of Qualicum Beach will take disciplinary measures or any other appropriate response as is deemed necessary against any person who subjects any employee to personal or sexual harassment.”

Staff was directed to ensure the policy it brings before council for a vote at a future meeting comply with the Human Rights Code of B.C.

A portion of Luchtmeijer’s notice of motion under his heading of “responsibilities” read like this:

“Council members, CEO, CAO, directors, managers and supervisors, union and non-union, have a responsibility to be proactive to ensure that the workplace remains free from harassment . . . council members, employees and volunteers must strive to have a clear understanding of what constitutes harassment and what their responsibilities are, as well have an awareness of Town of Qualicum Beach’s processes to prevent, educate and deal with it.”

It was not clear when staff would present the policy to council for a vote.

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