OAN Complaint Process

The Ontario AIDS Network’s (OAN) complaint process was created to support any person who has experienced harassment, discrimination, racism, bullying, violence and other unwanted behaviours from OAN staff, volunteers or others in an OAN space (in-person or virtually) to bring an issue forward and seek resolution where possible.

Complaints are resolved on a case-by-case basis. We are committed to speedy and transparent resolution of any complaints. All complainants will receive an email confirmation indicating their complaint has been received within one (1) business day. Complainants will then receive a follow up communication within two to three (2-3) business days.

If you experienced discrimination, racism, bullying, violence and other unwanted behaviours by an OAN staff, volunteer or other person in an OAN space (in-person of virtually), first attempt to resolve the situation informally by:

  • Informing that person directly (in writing, by e-mail, telephone, or in person) as soon as possible that their behaviour and/or action(s) are unwelcome and should cease immediately.

Where attempts to achieve an informal and timely resolution are unsuccessful, or if you are unable to bring the matter directly to the attention of the person involved, a formal complaint may be filed.

The OAN recognizes that not all complaints can be informally resolved and that it may be more appropriate to immediately submit a formal complaint.

The OAN is accountable to its members, affiliates, and stakeholders, and operates in a transparent manner. However, the OAN it is not a governing or accrediting organization and, as such, does not have the authority to address or mediate complaints between OAN member agencies, or to resolve complaints about member agencies.

Who can submit a complaint?

Anyone who has experienced harassment discrimination, racism, bullying, violence and other unwanted behaviours while attending an OAN event (in-person or virtually) such as a Member’s meetings, Skills and Skills+ sessions, the OPRAH program, PLDI, committee and working group meetings, and OAN special events.

Who can I submit a complaint about?

The information below details who you can submit a complaint about, and where your complaint will be directed after it is received.

  • If your complaint involves the conduct of OAN staff, volunteers, or committee/working group members and you’ve been unable to informally resolve it, formal complaints will be directed to the OAN executive director.
  • If your complaint involves an OAN board member or the OAN executive director, and you’ve been unable to informally resolve it, formal complaints will be directed to the co-chairs of the board of directors.
  • If your complaint involves a co-chair of the board, and you’ve been unable to informally resolve it, formal complaints will be directed to the OAN board executive committee.
  • If your complaint involves the conduct of other OAN meeting participants, formal complaints will be directed to the OAN executive director.

Any staff, volunteer, board member, or meeting participant against whom the allegation is made shall not participate in discussions relating to the complaint, except as a respondent. Information related to your complaint will remain confidential and only the parties involved in the resolution of your complaint will have access to information.

How to Submit a Complaint

To facilitate timely initiation of a resolution process, we ask that complaints be submitted as soon as possible after an incident occurs.

When attempts at informal resolution are unsuccessful or not appropriate, you can submit a formal written complaint using the form below including the date and time, location, names of any witnesses, relevant documentation, and desired outcome.

Important notes:

  • All formal complaints must be submitted in writing.
  • The executive director, co-chairs or executive committee shall promptly acknowledge the receipt of the submitted formal complaint.

Step 1 – Complaint Investigation

Following submission of a formal complaint, the OAN will investigate the incident (i.e., gathering information and details concerning the issue/event). Next, the appropriate investigator (the executive director, co-chairs or executive committee) will respond promptly in writing to all parties confirming whether the complaint will go forward. If a complaint goes forward, the investigator will meet with the complainant to gather additional information as required. The subject of the complaint will be notified regarding the nature of the complaint. All individuals who submit a written complaint will receive a written response to their complaint.

Step 2 – Formal Mediation Resolution

Following investigation, the OAN (the executive director, co-chairs or executive committee) may choose to seek the support of an independent investigator or mediator to assist in resolution of a formal complaint. The decision to retain the services of an independent mediator/investigator will be at the discretion of the OAN.