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Freedom from Harassment

CAUT Policy Statement

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is committed to promoting a workplace that is free from harassment. Harassment undermines the capacity of individuals to participate equally and fully in the academic community.

Harassment is any action, conduct, or comment that can reasonably be expected to cause offence, humiliation or physical or psychological harm, to a person or persons in the workplace. Harassment may arise from repeated conduct, verbal comments, actions or gestures that affect a person's dignity or psychological or physical integrity and that result in a harmful work environment. A single serious incident of such behaviour could also be deemed to be harassment.

All members of the academic community have a duty not to harass or behave in a manner that produces, contributes to, or perpetuates a learning or work culture that tolerates harassment.

The employer bears primary responsibility for fostering a workplace that is free from harassment. This requires a timely response to any complaints or issues brought to the attention of the employer.

Academic staff associations have a duty to represent members alleging harassment and members against whom such allegations are made. CAUT urges associations to educate their members about the nature and effects of harassment, and to negotiate contract language that provides protection against harassment.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2005;
No changes, February 2013;

Approved by the CAUT Council, May 2019;
No changes, February 2023.