The Canadian Historical Association (CHA) is committed to ensuring dignity in the workplace and to upholding the rights of our members to a safe professional environment free from harassment. Harassment is defined by the Canadian Human Rights Commission as any form of discrimination. This includes making unwelcome remarks or jokes about someone’s identity, such as their race, Indigeneity, cultural heritage, language, appearance, religion, gender, sexuality, age, disability; making unwelcome comments of a sexual nature; making unwelcome physical contact; making physical and/or verbal threats. Harassment includes demeaning, humiliating, and threatening actions, comments, jokes, other forms of verbal and/or written communication, body language, and physical contact, based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, religion, physical and mental ability, or any other legally protected characteristic, and intersections thereof. Within the discipline of history, as with other scholarly disciplines, harassment can include belittling a field of study and the nature of certain kinds of scholarly work. This kind of harassment can be as damaging as harassing individual scholars’ own person and identity.
When CHA members are adversely affected by harassment committed by another CHA member outside of CHA sponsored activities they should seek out appropriate authorities and processes in their home institutions and/or legal jurisdictions and they may, in addition, bring a complaint to the CHA Executive Committee.
Some misconduct may occur outside of CHA-sponsored or supported activities. Nonetheless, we offer a statement, above, and indicate a procedure, below, that applies to scenarios where CHA members are adversely affected by the harassment committed by another CHA member. In addition to bringing these matters to CHA Executive Committee, members should seek out appropriate authorities and processes in their home institutions and/or legal jurisdictions. When an incident of harassment occurs at a CHA-sponsored event, a representative of the Executive Committee will liaise with those authorities to provide input into the procedures as needed.
When a charge of harassment is substantiated by Executive review, or during a separate institutional and/or legal process, and when the incident has affected or has the potential to affect a CHA member’s participation in our activities, the Executive Committee will meet to vote on action, which may range from censure to expelling a member from the Association.
To respond, the CHA Executive must normally receive: (i) A confirmation of details of the harassment; (ii) the decision rendered by the relevant institutional and/or legal processes; (iii) A statement of fact and impact by the CHA member targeted by the harassment; and (iv) A statement of response to the accusation that the accused may provide if they so choose. All material submitted to the CHA President shall be shared with, and considered by members of the CHA Executive prior to the vote being called and action undertaken. The material will not be distributed beyond the Executive Committee and the CHA Council.
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