HEU Human Rights Policy

HEU policy designed to protect human rights, prevent bullying and encourage mutual respect

Mutual respect must be the basis of interaction among members and staff of the Hospital Employees’ Union at all times, but particularly at HEU conventions, conferences and other HEU-sponsored events, and in day-to-day interaction between members and staff. The Hospital Employees’ Union will neither tolerate nor condone behaviour that is likely to undermine the dignity or human rights of an individual either during working sessions or during social activities.

In order to ensure an environment that is supportive of mutual respect and fair treatment, the Provincial Executive has established the following policy and procedure. It defines what is unacceptable behaviour and sets out a complaint procedure to effectively deal with violations of the policy.

Protecting the human rights of our members, as well as preventing bullying and encouraging mutual respect is fundamental in ensuring a strong and united union. This policy enshrines the anti-bullying and harassment protections of the Workers Compensation Act and OH&S policies, along with the anti-discrimination protections in the B.C. Human Rights Code.

Under the Workers Compensation Act, bullying and harassment includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker (including at HEU-sponsored functions and socials) that the person knew, or reasonably ought to have known, would cause that person to be humiliated or intimidated. 

Under the B.C. Human Rights Code, discrimination is prohibited on the following grounds: race, ancestry, colour, place of origin, political belief, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, and conviction for which a pardon has been granted. 

Harassment based on these grounds include:

  • verbal abuse or threat;
  • unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendos or taunting about a person’s body, attire, age, marital status, ethnic or national origin, religion, sex, gender etc.
  • displaying of pornographic, racist or other offensive or derogatory pictures;
  • practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment;
  • unwelcome invitations or other requests, whether indirect or explicit, or intimidation;
  • leering or other gestures;
  • condescension or paternalism which undermines self-respect;
  • unnecessary physical contact such as touching, patting, pinching, punching;
  • physical assault.

Read HEU’s full policy and document.