Safe Disclosure Office Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Safe Disclosure Office?
The Safe Disclosure Office promotes and facilitates fair process and is a place for employees to have their respectful workplace matters heard. The SDO assesses these matters independently for the most appropriate response to remedy them, and directs them to the City Administration for action. These assessments are based on the Respectful Workplace Administrative Directive.
The Safe Disclosure Office does not act as an advocate for any party, conduct investigations, or substantiate allegations.
Please see the below videos to learn more about the Safe Disclosure Office and to 'virtually' meet Kezia Pendleton, the Safe Disclosure Office Lead.
What is the Respectful Workplace Administrative Directive?
See Respectful Workplace on OneCity.
The Respectful Workplace Administrative Directive is a document that outlines what the City expects of its employees to create and maintain a respectful workplace. It lists your responsibilities and explains your right to work in an environment where you can do your best work. It also defines what respectful workplace behaviour looks like for City employees. This can include harassment and discrimination as defined by the Occupational Health & Safety Act.
To book an appointment with the Safe Disclosure Office to discuss your respectful workplace matter:
Location: 2nd Floor, Bonnie Doon Mall**
** Your privacy matters. Our office is located at Bonnie Doon mall and has a separate entrance, but does share some space with Millcreek Neighbourhood Services, and Community Development Services employees. If this location is not suitable for you, please let us know and an alternative location to meet can be arranged.
Your information is collected in accordance with 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act and will be used to conduct a prima facie analysis of your Respectful Workplace Matter. Your information may be disclosed to Labour Relations, Disability Management and/or Workplace Restoration for the purpose of addressing your workplace matter. If you have any questions about the collection and use of your personal information, contact the Safe Disclosure Office Lead at 1-844-298-6782, 2nd floor, Bonnie Doon Mall, 8330-82 Ave, 2nd, Edmonton Alberta T6C 4E3 or email the Safe Disclosure Office at: questions@safedisclosure.
**Due to the pandemic, physical mail may not be received in usual timelines, and we encourage initial contact by phone or email to make arrangements for physical mail to be received in a timely manner.
When should I contact the Safe Disclosure Office?
You are encouraged to talk to the person with whom you have a concern, or with your supervisor.
If you don’t feel safe speaking with the individual or your supervisor, contact the Safe Disclosure Office:
- any time you have a concern or question about respect in the workplace;
- if you witness problematic behaviour in the workplace and you are not sure how to approach it;
- if you want information on the process and options that may be available to you to address a respectful workplace matter; or
- if you are thinking about bringing forward a matter of harassment or discrimination.
Do you take walk-ins?
No, we do not take walks-ins. In order to protect your confidentiality, and in order to ensure your matter is fully heard and understood, we do require all visitors to book an appointment.
Can I trust the Safe Disclosure Office to keep my matter confidential?
The Safe Disclosure Office is a safe, neutral, and confidential place where you can share your respectful workplace matters.
The Safe Disclosure Office:
- operates independently of the City of Edmonton Administration
- is located at Bonnie Doon Mall which is a public building with many other businesses
- will share information and provide guidance to all employees
- allows individuals to remain anonymous when contacting the Office for information.
- maintains confidentiality, with the exception of circumstances where there is a legal obligation to report (such as the exploitation of minors, or acting on reports of imminent harm, or where a disclosure of an incident of harassment or violence triggers a legally required investigation of the matter).
Is my Union or Association aware of the Safe Disclosure Office?
Yes. There were multiple conversations with Union and Association leaders about the Safe Disclosure Office and how to ensure it provides a safe, neutral and confidential space for employees to discuss their respectful workplace matters.
Does the City of Edmonton tell my Union or Association if I share a matter or if someone discusses a matter about me?
No. The Safe Disclosure Office will not share information with your union or association representative without your consent.
An employee may choose to have their Union or Association involved as their representative throughout the process.
What happens after I share my matter with the Safe Disclosure Office?
The Safe Disclosure Office will listen to your concerns and provide information about the process and your options. You will then be able to make an informed decision on how to proceed with your matter. The adviser will follow-up after your meeting to provide you with the assessment outcome and explain your next steps, if applicable.
What protection do I have against retaliation?
The City of Edmonton is building a culture where employees feel comfortable coming forward with respectful workplace matters. If you feel you are being retaliated against because of a harassment or discrimination matter that you brought forward, report it to the Safe Disclosure Office immediately so it can be addressed. The City of Edmonton takes retaliation concerns very seriously.
Will my supervisor find out if I contacted the Safe Disclosure Office?
Information about who contacts the Office is kept confidential, with the exception of circumstances where there is a legal obligation to report (such as the exploitation of minors, or acting on reports of imminent harm, or where a disclosure of an incident of harassment or violence triggers a legally required investigation of the matter), or in cases where you have consented to have your matter referred.
Can I discuss a matter with the Safe Disclosure Office outside of regular business hours?
Yes. The Safe Disclosure Office is available to meet during the following office hours (Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.). In extenuating circumstances, they may be able to meet at another time and location that works for both of you. Call the Safe Disclosure Office to book an appointment and for more information.
Can I use work time to contact or visit the Safe Disclosure Office?
Yes, you can contact or visit the Safe Disclosure Office on work time. There is an expectation you will arrange for the time away with your Supervisor and keep operational needs in mind. Call or email the Safe Disclosure Office to make an appointment.
If you have concerns about meeting during work hours, the Safe Disclosure Office can provide further information and guidance.
What is the difference between the Fraud and Misconduct Line (Whistleblower) and the Safe Disclosure Office?
The Fraud and Misconduct Line is to report potential breaches of the City’s Code of Conduct. Matters about a respectful workplace should be directed to the Safe Disclosure Office.
What other resources are available to support me?
Resources you can contact for support are:
- Homewood Health: 1-800-663-1142
- City of Edmonton Chaplain John Dowds: 780-496-7863
- Your Union or Association representative (see contacts below)
Visit onecity.edmonton.ca/respect for more information
What if the inappropriate behaviour that I report does not fall within the definition of harassment and discrimination?
After sharing your matter with the Safe Disclosure Office, other options that may be available will be discussed with you.
What if I see others not complying with the Respectful Workplace Administrative Directive? Do I have to report it?
If you feel that other City of Edmonton employees are not complying with the Respectful Workplace Administrative Directive, there are a variety of options you can take to address the situation:
- if you feel comfortable, let the person know, in a respectful way, that their behaviour is inappropriate and is not welcome;
- talk to your Supervisor;
- talk to your Union or Association; or
- talk to the Safe Disclosure Office.
What if I am being harassed by or experiencing discrimination from the public?
The City of Edmonton has a responsibility to prevent and address an employee’s exposure to harassment and discrimination while at work. This includes behaviours from people who aren’t employed by the City of Edmonton, such as the public, contractors, etc. Report these incidents to your Supervisor.
|CITY SUPPORT & RESOURCES||UNIONS & ASSOCIATIONS|
Safe Disclosure Office
Lifeworks 24hrs/7days a week
City Chaplain John Dowds
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569 (ATU 569 and ATU 569 (DATS))
Civic Service Union 52 (CSU 52)
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1007 (IBEW)
Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 30 (CUPE 30)
Edmonton Firefighters’ Union (EFFU)
City of Edmonton Management Association (CEMA)