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Human Resources Policies

Employee Code of Conduct


Oakville Public Library (OPL) is committed to maintaining the highest standards of professional excellence consistent with our core values. OPL’s core values are:
  • Integrity
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Accessibility
  • Service Excellence
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
    • This Code of Conduct (referred to hereafter as “Code”), has been established to ensure that employees adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct. This policy is not intended to address every situation and represents general standards and expectations for all employees. Each employee has the obligation to ensure compliance with the Code, which is a condition of employment. Failure to comply with the Code may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

      View the complete Employee Code of Conduct policy here (PDF)

      Occupational Health, Safety and Workplace Violence

      Purpose Statement

      The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all library workplaces and facilities are in compliance 
      with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations and that every reasonable 
      precaution is taken to provide for a healthy and safe work environment. The implementation of 
      this policy, through the establishment of occupational health and safety programs based on 
      shared responsibility of management and employees will promote health, safety and prevent 
      workplace illness and injuries, harassment and workplace violence. 


      This policy applies to all library employees (including but not limited to full-time, part-time, 
      students, volunteers, interns), contractors, sub-contractors, consultants, workers and every 
      person accessing the Library for services. 

      Policy Statement

      Oakville Public Library (OPL), in the performance of its services, is responsible for promoting 
      health and safety for the protection of its workers and the public alike. Unsafe practices will not 
      be tolerated. OPL will follow the guidelines and directives of the federal, provincial and 
      regional government authorities, including the branches of public health. 

      Every worker, contract worker and sub-contractor, including every person accessing library 
      property for services, must protect his or her own health and safety by complying with the law 
      and with the safe work practices and procedures established and required by the Library. 

      All levels of supervisors will be held accountable for the health and safety of workers under their 

      The Library provides a safe and healthy workplace by supporting a formal program of 
      education and training, including those required by federal, provincial, and regional 
      government authorities (including the branches of public health); preventing accidents, 
      workplace harassment and violence, including domestic violence in the workplace; and by reducing injuries and occupational illness through accident investigations, follow up action 
      and the recommendations of the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). 



    • Comply with all regulations made under Occupational Health & Safety Act; 
    • Develop and implement an occupational health and safety program and policy; 
    • Ensure that all staff and contractors are aware of and effectively practice the policies and procedures set out; 
    • Take all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of workers; 
    • Ensure that equipment, materials and protective equipment are maintained in good condition; 
    • Provide information, instruction and supervision to protect worker health and safety; 
    • Co-operate with the JHSC; 
    • Provide ongoing health and safety education or training programs and approved first aid training courses as required. 
      • Employees: 
        Employees have a general duty to take responsibility for personal health and safety, 
        which means they should not behave or operate equipment in a way that would endanger 
        themselves or others. 

      • Work in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations; 
      • Participate in education and training; 
      • Report any incidents, near misses, injuries or illnesses; 
      • Suggest ways to eliminate hazards or control risk; 
      • Use any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer; 
      • Report any known workplace hazard to the employer or leader. 
        • Leaders: 

        • Work in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations; 
        • Provide instructions to employee about health and safety work procedures. As part of the routine duties, the leader shall require employees to user personal protective equipment as appropriate; 
        • Provide an example for others by always directing and performing work in a safe manner; 
        • Conduct regular inspections for unsafe practices and conditions and ensure prompt corrective action; 
        • Enforce all established safety regulations and work methods. Take corrective action as necessary; 
        • Report all incidents immediately, investigate all incidents fully, and advise senior management on how to prevent similar incidents in the future. 
          • Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC): 

          • Work in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations; 
          • Identify health and safety issues or situations; 
          • Makes recommendations to OPL to improve the health and safety of workers and strives to resolves any issues that arise around issues of health and safety. 
            • References

              Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) 
              Ontario Human Rights Code

              Policy Number: HR-007 Policy
              Category: Human Resources
              Approved by: OPL Board
              Accountability: Chief Executive Officer
              Approval Date: July 20, 2023
              Effective date: July 20. 2023
              Next Review Date: 2024
              Supersedes: December 2022

              View the PDF version of the policy

              Purpose Statement:

              This policy provides leaders and employees with an overview of the recruitment phases and standard practices that govern recruitment at Oakville Public Library (OPL), and outlines roles and responsibilities throughout the recruitment process to ensure all recruitment practices are transparent and consistently applied.


              This policy applies to all internal and external applicants.

              Unionized staff should refer to the terms and conditions of the applicable articles of the collective agreement. In the event that the applicable collective agreement conflicts with this policy, the terms and conditions of that collective agreement will apply.

              Policy Statement:

              The Oakville Public Library (OPL) is committed to attracting a talented, diverse and inclusive workforce which broadly reflects the communities and residents served and to selecting the best candidate for the position in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, AODA and all applicable employment legislation and policies/procedures. OPL supports and encourages employees to realize their career goals and reach their maximum potential.

              Recruitment Overview:

              The procedures that support this policy provide detailed direction to staff in all aspects of the recruitment process.

              OPL will comply with all requirements of Ontario Regulation 191/11 of the AODA, the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR), throughout the recruitment process by:

              • Taking into account the accessibility needs of all applicants with disabilities

              • Removal of unnecessary barriers that restrict employment

              • Notifying all applicants of the availability of accommodation throughout all steps of the recruitment process, and

              • Providing individual accommodation plans (upon request or as initiated by management)

               The following is an overview of the recruitment process, from the initial position request to hiring of the candidate.

              1. Planning

              • A vacancy or recruitment need is identified by the Hiring Manager, who partners with the HR to initiate the Recruitment Planning process.

              • Vacancies shall be reviewed by Executive Management Team (EMT) to consider options in managing vacancies.

              • The results of EMT decisions will be communicated to the hiring department and HR department.

              • Requests are to be approved as follows:

                • Replacement for budgeted positions must be approved by EMT;

                • Increases to library complement must be approved by Town of Oakville Council as part of the annual OPL budget approval process.

              1. Posting

              • Vacancies are posted for a minimum of seven (7) days and shall be accessible online via a broad range of publications to reach a diverse candidate pool.

              • Job postings will incorporate inclusive language.

              • An external search firm may be used to fill the vacancy and will generally be limited to the recruitment and selection of applicants for senior positions or hard-to-fill roles. An external search firm or temporary agency may also be used to temporarily fill a vacancy.

              1. Selection

              • Full consideration will be given to an applicant’s education, experience, abilities, suitability and work-related references. Based on the qualified candidate pool,  OPL will strive to ensure a diverse range of candidates are represented.

              • A relative of an OPL employee or member of the Board, or Town of Oakville council, who is identified as being the best qualified candidate in the selection process, is eligible to be hired if there is no direct or indirect supervisory link between the parties. In cases of promotion and transfer from within OPL or in situations where related employees, may for any reason come into supervisory relationship, an effort will be made to arrange a transfer of the employee(s) to an alternative position.

              • An employee of OPL or a member of the Board or Town of Oakville council may not advocate for the employment of any individual by OPL.

              1. Offer

              • The Hiring Manager selects the preferred candidate after consultation with their leader and provides their rationale for selection to HR (when a choice must be made between equally qualified candidates, preference will be given to internal employees in order to promote the development of employees).

              • HR is responsible for making the job offer to the successful candidate.

              • All necessary documentation must be received and acceptable to OPL (e.g. Police Record Check, Driver’s Abstract, Eligibility to Work in Canada, educational documents, etc.) prior to the successful candidate’s starting date.




              • Ensuring all applicable managers/supervisors are aware of this policy and of any subsequent revisions, and ensuring compliance with this policyHiring Managers:

              • Identifying a vacancy within their department and initiating the recruitment process.

              • Partnering with HR to consider the department’s current and future workforce needs and/or opportunities.

              • Partnering with HR throughout the recruitment process.

              • Complying with all legislative requirements, collective agreement, this policy and related procedures.

                • Leaders will complete inclusive hiring training to ensure that the recruitment process is inclusive and free from bias.

              Human Resources:

              • Providing workforce planning and recruitment strategy consultation

              • Providing recruitment training and access to support documents

              • Developing a sourcing plan for external and internal applicants in partnership with the Hiring Manager, as required

              • Sourcing External and Internal Applicants

              • Partnering with the Hiring Manager throughout the recruitment process

              • Providing coaching, guidance and advice to Hiring Managers throughout the recruitment process as required

              • Assisting Hiring Managers to ensure that the recruitment process is equitable and is in compliance with all legislative requirements, this policy and related procedures, collective agreement


              Related Procedures:

              • Recruitment - Permanent

              • Recruitment - Temporary

              • Probationary Period

              • Exit Interviews

              • Police Record Checks



              • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA)

              • Ontario Human Rights Code

              Policy Number:         HR-005
              Policy Category:       Human Resources
              Approved by:            OPL Board
              Accountability:          Chief Executive Officer          
              Approval Date:          March 21, 2024
              Effective date:           March 22, 2024
              Next Review Date:    2027
              Supersedes:              May 27, 2021

              View Policy (PDF)


              Oakville Public Library (OPL) is committed to maintaining a healthy, safe and supportive workplace for all library employees that is free from discrimination, harassment and workplace conflict.

              This policy complies with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, as amended. OPL will not condone discrimination or harassment with respect to race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.

              It is a shared responsibility of every employee to support and maintain a positive work environment by always acting in an appropriate manner in the workplace or at any work-related or employee social function. Any inappropriate conflict or behaviour will not be tolerated.

              Resolution of complaints under this policy will be handled in accordance with the Respectful Conduct procedures which includes reporting; investigating; disclosure; and resolution.

              OPL, as an employer, is committed to:

            • Zero tolerance of discrimination, harassment and workplace conflict;
            • Resolution of discrimination, harassment and workplace conflict, as soon as possible;
            • Proactive communication and education regarding employee’s rights and responsibilities;
            • Conducting all aspects of respectful workplace investigations fairly and in a professional manner that respects the dignity of all involved


              This policy applies to all library employees (including but not limited to full-time, part-time, students, volunteers, temporary and interns), any individual representing or acting on behalf of the library in any manner (i.e. contractor, consultant) and every person accessing the library’s services.

              Policy Statement:

              The OPL is committed to providing a healthy, safe and supportive workplace for all employees that is free from discrimination, harassment, and workplace conflict.

              It is important to the library that staff is provided with, and contribute towards, a respectful workplace where the values of trust, fairness, integrity, respect and dignity guide our interactions with one another.


              Discrimination: Includes but is not limited to unequal treatment based on one or more of the prohibited grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code, except where conduct is permitted under the law. Discrimination can be intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect with the result being an adverse impact on the employee based on the prohibited grounds.
              Workplace Harassment: Includes a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. It may include but is not limited to:

            • written or verbal insults
            • unwanted remarks or comments on a person's mannerisms or body,
            • practical jokes that cause embarrassment or endanger an employee's safety,
            • behaviour that undermines or sabotages the employee's job performance,
            • behaviour that threatens the livelihood of the employee,
            • behaviour, conduct, comments or activities not directed specifically at an individual, but which nonetheless create a degrading, offensive, "poisoned" work environment. It may include, but is not limited to:
              • circulating or displaying sexually explicit, racist or derogatory pictures, graffiti or other offensive materials,patronizing behaviour, language or terminology that reinforces stereotypes and undermines self-respect or adversely affects work performance or conditions.

              Harassment does not include:

            • legitimate, reasonable management actions that are part of the normal work function that may include, but is not limited to appropriate direction, delegation, performance management, counselling or discipline administered by a member of management or a management designate;
            • professional debate;
            • attendance management;
            • relationship of mutual consent or mutual flirtation;
            • stressful events encountered in the performance of legitimate job duties;
            • occasional disagreements or personality conflicts.
            • conditions in the workplace that generate stress (technological change, impending layoff, a new boss, friction with other employees, workload, etc.)

              Harassment can take many forms and may be directed at an individual or group of individuals. Harassment can occur in various types of communication, including face to face exchanges, email correspondence, written correspondence and the use of social media. Differences of attitude or culture and misinterpretation of social signals can mean that what is perceived as harassment by one person may not seem so to another. Behaviour shall be regarded as harassing if, having regard to all the circumstances, including in particular the perception of the person who is the subject of the harassment, it should reasonably be considered as having that effect.
              Harassment also includes the following:
              Sexual harassment: Occurs when there is a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in the workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of such comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or making sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome. This may include, but is not limited to the following:

            • Unnecessary or unwanted physical contact, ranging from touching, patting or pinching, to physical assault;
            • Leering (suggestive staring at a person’s body), or other suggestive gestures;
            • Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes or taunting about a person’s physical appearance, attire, sex or sexual orientation;
            • Practical jokes of a sexual nature, which cause awkwardness or embarrassment;
            • Demands for sexual favours or requests, particularly where privilege is implied;
            • Compromising invitations;
            • A threat to job security or working conditions (i.e. advancement, monetary raise, etc.) for refusing to comply with sexual demands by a person in a position of authority
              • Personal harassment/bullying: Personal harassment or bullying is any unwelcome, disrespectful, intimidating, abusive, cruel, vindictive or offensive behaviour, conduct or communications directed at an individual or group. In some cases it may erode their self- confidence or self-esteem and it may create an intimidating, offensive or embarrassing work environment often referred to as a Poisoned Work Environment.

                Personal harassment may include, but is not limited to: 

              • name calling;
              • insults;
              • inappropriate jokes;
              • threats;
              • shouting;
              • derogatory remarks (including messages that are threatening, derisive, or defamatory);
              • spreading malicious rumours;
              • persistent criticism and exclusion.
                • Workplace conflict: Inappropriate workplace conflict occurs when two or more employees disagree on a matter which results in a disruption to the cohesive relationships necessary for a productive and harmonious workplace.

                  Roles & Responsibilities

                  Oakville Public Library, along with all employees, have a shared responsibility to support and maintain a positive work environment by committing to the following:

                  Oakville Public Library:

                  The library has the primary responsibility to establish and maintain a respectful workplace as defined in this policy. Employer responsibilities include: 

                • Taking steps to prevent discrimination, harassment and workplace conflict and maintain a respectful workplace;
                • Communicating and educating workers on policies and procedures along with rights and responsibilities;
                • Educating leaders on policies and procedures;
                • Not engaging in discrimination, harassment and workplace conflict and applying and complying with employer policies and procedures.
                  • Leaders’ responsibilities include:

                  • Providing an environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, violence and conflict – setting a good example and not participating in or ignoring harassment, discrimination, violence or workplace conflict;
                  • Ensuring workers are provided with information about and access to policies and procedures related to discrimination, harassment and workplace conflict;
                  • Being aware of the potential for discrimination, harassment, violence and workplace conflict and proactively intervening before problems arise;
                  • Acting quickly and appropriately as soon as becoming aware of possible violations in consultation with Human Resources;
                  • Cooperating fully and making their employees available to participate in investigations and other resolution processes;
                  • Being sensitive to the nature of the complaint and implement recommended changes in the workplace;
                  • Taking steps to restore positive working relationships
                  • Maintain confidentiality
                    • Human Resources responsibilities include:

                    • Educating and training all employees on the policies and procedures related to Respectful Conduct including their responsibilities ;
                    • Acting quickly and appropriately upon receipt of complaint under the policy
                    • In consultation with the CEO or Board Chair follows the Respectful Conduct procedure ensuring all parties have a copy of the relevant policies and an investigation is conducted and appropriate action taken.
                    • Providing guidance on the policies and procedures to supervisors and employees;
                    • Keeping any information about the complaint and/or investigation confidential.
                      • Employees’ responsibilities include:

                      • Taking personal responsibility to maintain respectful working relationships and constructively resolve conflict;
                      • Refraining from harassing and inappropriate workplace conflict;
                      • Reporting any observed or experienced discrimination, harassment and workplace conflict in the workplace as per the Respectful Conduct procedures;
                      • Applying and complying with the employer’s policies and procedures;
                      • Notifying the next level of supervisor/management not involved in the complaint as soon as possible about the alleged violation;
                      • Cooperating fully and in a truthful manner in any investigation, and keep any information about the complaint and/or investigation confidential.
                        • Reporting

                          Any employee who believes they are being harassed should consult with their respective leader if suitable and/or Human Resources, who can assess whether the complaint falls under this policy and discuss possible courses of action. Concerns should be raised as soon as reasonably possible.

                          OPL is committed to addressing complaints and to investigating bona fide complaints according to Respectful Conduct procedures.


                          All persons involved with a complaint must endeavour to ensure that the matter remains confidential. To this end, complaints shall be investigated both confidentially and objectively, with respect for the rights of all parties involved. All information must remain confidential except where sharing information is otherwise required by law.


                          Any employee who violates this policy, breaches confidentiality in relation to a complaint under the policy, retaliates or threatens retaliation against an individual due to their making a complaint or acting as a witness, and/or leaders who fail to take action when advised of a violation, will be subject to appropriate progressive discipline, up to and including termination of employment. Progressive discipline may also be taken if a complaint is found to be trivial, frivolous, vexatious or has been made in bad faith, fraudulently or with malicious intent.


                          Occupational Health and Safety Act Ontario Human Rights Code
                          Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
                          Occupational Health, Safety and Violence Policy Employee Code of Conduct

                          Policy Number: HR-006
                          Policy Category: Human Resources
                          Approved by: OPL Board 
                          Accountability: Chief Executive Officer    
                          Approval Date: January 18, 2024
                          Effective date: January 18, 2024
                          Next Review Date: 2026
                          Supersedes: February 2021

                          The Rzone is an Oakville-wide procedure that promotes a positive, safe and supportive environment for all  members of the public and staff. Violence, vandalism and inappropriate behaviour are not acceptable.

                          View the complete RZone Policy here (PDF)