Complaints Reporting, Investigations, Hearing and Disposition
Hockey Alberta recognizes the sensitive and serious nature of harassment and will strive to keep all matters relating to a complaint confidential. However, if required by law to disclose information, Hockey Alberta will do so. This shall not preclude publication of the final outcome of any matter, where a sanction imposed under this policy includes publication.
A person who experiences, witnesses, or has reason to believe that harassment has occurred is encouraged to make it known that the behaviour is unwelcome, offensive and contrary to the values of Hockey Alberta and this policy.
If confronting the harasser is not possible, or if after confronting the harassment continues, the matter should be reported to an official of Hockey Alberta. For the purposes of this policy, an "official" is the Hockey Alberta Executive Director.
Once an incident is reported, the role of the official is to serve in a neutral, unbiased capacity in receiving the report of the incident, advising the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the incident (if the person who has experienced the harassment is a minor), and assisting through mediation in an informal resolution of the complaint, where this is appropriate.
If through mediation an informal resolution of the complaint is not appropriate or possible, the person who has experienced or witnessed the harassment, or who believes the harassment has occurred may make a formal written complaint to the Hockey Alberta Executive Directory, who will then proceed with the complaint.
III) Reporting – a Member (Local Minor Hockey Association; Junior, Senior and Female club team)
Upon receiving any complaint involving a member or members of a local minor hockey association, club team or organization which is a member of Hockey Alberta, the Executive Director may direct that the complaint be handled by the local organization in accordance with its own procedures, or in accordance with procedures which Hockey Alberta may direct. If referred, Hockey Alberta shall monitor the complaint to ensure that it is handled in an appropriate and timely manner. Hockey Alberta will refer all complaints to the applicable local minor hockey association, club team or organization for information.
IV) Written Complaint and Investigation
When the Executive Director receives a formal written complaint, s/he in consultation with professionals will determine the nature of the complaint. If the complaint is deemed minor in nature, it may be referred to the local organization or an informal resolution may be attempted through mediation if agreed to by the complainant.
If the complaint is deemed major in nature, the Executive Director shall appoint an individual to conduct an investigation of the complaint or refer the complaint to the local organization. For serious matters, the investigator should be experienced in harassment matters and investigation techniques, and may be an outside professional.
The investigator shall carry out the investigation in a timely manner and at the conclusion of the investigation shall submit a written report to the Executive Director.
Within 14 days of receiving the written report of the investigator, the Executive Director shall decide if the complaint should be dealt with directly or without a hearing, in which case s/he shall direct the appropriate response and the matter shall then be concluded, provided the person complained of is fully informed and is given an opportunity to respond to the complaint.
V) Immediate Response
This policy shall not prevent a person in authority from taking immediate, informal, corrective and appropriate disciplinary action in response to behaviour that, in his or her view, constitutes a minor instance of harassment.
Harassment complaints arising during competitions may be dealt with immediately, if necessary, by a Hockey Alberta representative in a position of authority, provided the individual being disciplined is told the nature of the infraction and has an opportunity to provide information concerning the incident. In such situations, sanctions shall be for the duration of the competition only. Further sanctions may be applied, but only after review of the matter in accordance with this policy.
In the event that an alleged offense is so serious so as to possibly jeopardize the safety of others, the Hockey Alberta representative may immediately remove the alleged offender from Hockey Alberta activities, pending an investigation of the complaint in accordance with this policy.
If the Executive Director decides that the complaint shall be dealt with by means of a hearing, the Chair of the Board shall appoint three individuals to serve as a Panel, and shall appoint one of these persons to serve as the Chair of the Panel. The Panel shall govern the hearing by such procedures as it may decide, provided that:
- The Complainant and Respondent shall be given written notice (by courier registered mail) of the day, time and place of the hearing.
- All parties shall receive a copy of the Investigator’s report.
- Both the Complainant and Respondent shall be present at the hearing.
- The Panel may request that witness to the incident be present or submit written evidence which is certified by a notary of public.
- If at any point in the proceedings, the Complainant becomes reluctant to continue, it shall be at the sole discretion of the Chair of the Panel to continue the review of the complaint in accordance with this policy.
- After reviewing and deciding the harassment matter, the Panel shall present its findings in a written report to the Executive Director with a copy provided to both the Complainant and the Respondent. This report shall contain:
- A summary of the relevant facts.
- A determination as to whether the acts complained of constitute harassment.
- Disciplinary action to be taken, if the acts constitute harassment.
- Measures to remedy or mitigate the harm or loss suffered by the Complainant, if the acts constitute harassment.
When directing appropriate disciplinary sanction, the Panel shall consider factors such as:
- The nature and security of the harassment.
- If the harassment involved any physical contact.
- If the harassment was an isolated incident or part of an ongoing pattern.
- The nature of the relationship between the complainant and harasser.
- The age of the complainant.
- Whether the harasser had been involved in previous harassment incidents.
- Whether the harasser admitted responsibility and expressed a willingness to change.
- Whether the harasser retaliated against the complainer.
In directing disciplinary actions, the Panel may consider the following options, singly or in combination, depending on the nature and severity of the harassment:
- Verbal apology.
- Written apology.
- Letter of reprimand from Hockey Alberta.
- A fine or levy.
- Referral to counseling.
- Removal of certain privileges of membership or employment.
- Temporary suspension with or without pay.
- Termination of employment or contract.
- Suspension of membership.
- Expulsion from membership.
- Publication of the details of the sanction.
- Any other sanction or disciplinary suspensions which the Panel may deem appropriate.
Failure to comply with a sanction as determined by the Panel shall result in automatic suspension of membership in Hockey Alberta or in organizations affiliated with Hockey Alberta, until such time as the sanction is fulfilled.
Notwithstanding the procedures set out in this policy, any individual participating in Hockey Alberta business, activities or events who is convicted of a criminal offense involving sexual exploitation, invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference, or sexual assault, shall face automatic suspension from participating in any activities of Hockey Alberta for a period of time corresponding to the length of the criminal sentence imposed by the court, and may face further disciplinary action by Hockey Alberta in accordance with this policy.
VIII) Appeal Procedure
Both the Complainant and Respondent shall have the right to appeal the decision and sanctions of the Panel, in accordance with Hockey Alberta Appeal Policy and Procedures.