What is Discrimination?
Prohibited Grounds of Discrimination
Examples of Discrimination
Impact and Consequences of Discrimination
Carleton’s Discrimination and Harassment Policies
Personal Harassment and Bullying
If You’re Being Discriminated Against…
If You Are Accused of Discrimination…
Ways to Help Prevent Discrimination
Equity Services’ Role
Confidentiality
How to Reach Us
Other Resources

What is Discrimination?

Discrimination is understood as a practice or action, whether intentional or not, and based upon prohibited grounds of discrimination, that imposes burdens, obligations or disadvantages on an individual or group that are not imposed on others, or that withholds or limits access to opportunities, benefits and advantages available to others.

Back to Top

Prohibited Grounds of Discrimination

Discrimination in employment, housing and the delivery of services (including education) on any of these grounds violates Carleton’s Human Rights Policies and Procedures, and with the exception of political affiliation or belief, as well as the Ontario Human Rights Code.

  • race;
  • sex;
  • ancestry;
  • sexual orientation;
  • place of origin;
  • age;
  • colour;
  • marital status;
  • ethnic origin;

  • disability;
  • citizenship;
  • family status;
  • creed;
  • gender identity;
  • political affiliation or belief;
  • record of offences (where a pardon has been received);
  • receipt of public assistance.

* considered analogous to gender and/or sexual orientation

Back to Top

Examples of Discrimination

  • Denying appropriate accommodation to persons with medically-certified disabilities
  • Refusing the same benefits to same-sex partner that are granted to opposite-sex partners
  • Denying promotions to women because the employer believes women are not committed to their careers
  • Evaluating students negatively because the instructor disapproves of their political, religious or cultural beliefs

Back to Top

Impact and Consequences

The impact of discrimination can be severe. Victims can be harmed physically, emotionally, economically, and socially. It can adversely affect careers and academic performance.

Engaging in discriminatory behaviour can result in disciplinary action. This action may include, but is not limited to, reprimand, relocation, suspension, expulsion and dismissal.

Back to Top

Carleton’s Discrimination and Harassment Policies

Carleton’s Discrimination and Harassment Policies protects all Carleton staff, students and faculty from discrimination and harassment because of political affiliation or belief, and gender identity, and/or any of the prohibited grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The Policy offers both formal and informal procedures for handling complaints. Wherever possible, complaints are managed using the informal process. Equity Advisors are advocates for the Policy; they do not act as advocates for complainants or respondents.

Personal Harassment and Bullying

Discriminatory, harassing, unfair or threatening behaviours that do not involve any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination are not covered by the Carleton Discrimination and Harassment Policies. Such behaviour, including personal harassment and bullying, should be addressed with a manager, dean, union representative, CUSA, GSA representative, or Human Resources. Equity Services will refer individuals seeking assistance to more appropriate venues where necessary.

Back to Top

If You’re Being Discriminated Against…

Don’t Pretend That It Isn’t Happening
Discrimination is unlikely to go away if you ignore it. In fact, discriminatory behaviour may escalate when people feel they can get away with it.

Seek Advice
Talk to people who can, because of their position or expertise, provide you with constructive advice and support. Speak with your supervisor, the Administrative Head of your unit, or call Equity Services (613) 520-5622 for information and advice.

If you believe you or others are in physical danger, immediately contact University Safety at 4444 if you are on campus. Safety can also discuss ongoing safety concerns with you, including the need to go to the police, and help you develop a safety plan if necessary.

Take Action
The most effective way to stop discrimination is to confront it immediately and directly. If it is safe to do so, clearly and firmly tell the person who is discriminating against you that their actions are inappropriate/unacceptable, and that you will not accept it. This communication can take a variety of forms including the most common such as advising the offender in person, or through a letter.

If confronting the offensive behaviour does not end it, or if you cannot confront the person because you fear the consequences (for your grades, references, a promotion), it is time to seek help. Call Equity Services at (613) 520-5622.

Keep Records
Don’t rely on your memory. Carefully record the details of the discrimination as soon as it occurs (dates, times, locations, witnesses and what was said or done, including your responses and reactions). Record all attempts to tell the person that the behaviour is unacceptable. Keep all letters, emails, answering machine messages etc. that you receive.

Back to Top

If You Are Accused of Discrimination…

Take the Accusation Seriously
If someone complains to you that your actions or comments are unacceptable, offensive or discriminatory, listen closely. Remember that people with different values or backgrounds may experience as humiliating, threatening, or insulting what you intended to be funny or harmless. Remember also that your body language and tone of voice contributes to the impact of your words and actions.

If you believe the complaint is fair, you may want to apologize for the discomfort or offence you caused.

Avoid Retaliation
Do not act in ways that could be seen as “getting back” at the complainant. Avoid any behaviour that could embarrass or intimidate the person you have allegedly harassed.

Review Your Rights and Seek Advice
Contact Equity Services for information and advice. You may wish to seek support and assistance from your manager, dean , union representative, or CUSA or GSA representative. Read the Carleton University Human Rights Policies and Procedures to learn about the rights and responsibilities of complainants and respondents, as well as the formal procedures for complaint resolution.

Back to Top

Ways to Help Prevent Discrimination

Everyone can help improve the work and study environment at Carleton by showing respect for people.

You can help by

  • Objecting to discrimination when you see or experience it. Don’t ignore or condone discriminatory behaviour in others;
  • Refusing to go along with discrimination disguised as humour or academic debate;
  • Choosing not to share jokes or make comments of a discriminatory nature;
  • Encouraging diversity and inclusivity in work and study environments;
  • Being aware that cultures different from your own may interpret actions differently than you do; and
  • Offering support and resources to anyone experiencing discrimination, including referring them to Equity Services or other individuals trained to provide assistance

Back to Top

Equity Services’ Role

Carleton’s Equity Services works to prevent discrimination and harassment on campus. We provide informal and formal procedures for handling complaints, offer education on a wide variety of human rights and diversity issues and coordinate Carleton University’s employment and educational equity programs.

If you are a Carleton student, staff or faculty member who is experiencing discrimination on campus or who is accused of engaging in it, you can seek the advice and asssitance of neutral and impartial Equity Advisors. Equity Advisors will list and ask questions to help you assess your situation and evaluate options and propose possible solutions.

Back to Top

Confidentiality

Equity Services believes that individuals must be able to discuss concerns in a safe and private environment. We endeavour to respect confidentiality and to seek your consent before acting on information that you provide to us, except where required by law or where, because the safety of others is in jeopardy, disclosure is the responsible course of action.

Back to Top

How to Reach Us

Department of Equity Services
503 Robertson Hall
Carleton University
1125 Colonel. By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
(613) 520-5622
Email: equity@carleton.ca
Web site: www.carleton.ca/equity

Back to Top

Other Resources

Security (Emergency) (613) 520-4444
Health and Counselling Services (613) 520-6674
Paul Menton Centre for Student with Disabilities (613) 520-6608
Employee Assistance Program (613) 725-5676
International Student Advisory (613) 520-6602
Ombuds Services (613) 520-6617

Back to Top