Code of Conduct

Posted by Justin Spencer, March 7, 2022


At MERIT Brewing, we strive to make Hamilton bright by expressing the city’s eclectic, diverse, resilient and artistic nature through delicious, handcrafted beer and food for everyone.

We strive for innovation and draw from a wide range of ideas in the pursuit of constant improvement. We create to express ourselves and to drive conversation amongst our peers.

People are at the center of what we do. We embrace diversity, inclusion and stand for those unseen or unheard, while enriching our internal and external community through positive action. All members of our team and those MERIT interacts with, are treated with equal dignity, respect, positivity, fairness and inclusion.

We use open dialogue, communication and Living Feedback daily as we work together with integrity, honesty, transparency, and accountability in joint pursuit of constant growth.

We see every interaction with each other and our guests as an opportunity to empower and to learn. We know we are not perfect. We will make mistakes. We will always work to make things right.

We do not tolerate racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ageism or ableism.



Why a Code of Conduct?
The MERIT Code of Conduct exists so that all team members of MERIT Brewing Company have a clear understanding of our Core Values and the expected work behaviours necessary to bring those values into alignment with our business needs. Our Core Values and The Code of Conduct help give us clarity when making decisions or solving problems on behalf of MERIT and we follow these essential pieces of guidance as we navigate our work daily.

Who Follows the MERIT Code of Conduct?
MERIT expects all employees and leadership team members to know and follow the Code of Conduct. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment.

Furthermore, while the Code of Conduct is specifically written for MERIT employees and leaders, we expect any members of our team, including temporary, casual employees, brand ambassadors or event staff to follow our Code of Conduct in connection with their work for us. Failure of a member of our extended team or other covered service provider to follow our Code of Conduct can result in termination of their relationship and any future work with MERIT.

Read and follow the Code of Conduct, along with any other policies that apply to your role at MERIT.
Use good judgment and be honest. If you are asked to violate MERIT’s Code , do not do it. Report the concern as soon as possible using the resources available to you.
Obey and uphold the law. Understand laws that apply to your job and to MERIT and if you are ever unclear about laws, regulations or public guidelines, contact a member of our leadership team. When an answer is not clear, ask for guidance before taking action.
Stay alert. Be mindful of any activity that isn’t consistent with MERIT’s Code of Conduct, any of our policies or the law.
Report concerns. Bring forward any concerns and do not ignore violations. Prevent harm to others and MERIT.

Your Rights
MERIT recognizes your rights as an employee. You have the right to speak publicly about matters of public concern or to participate in certain activities related to the terms and conditions of your employment (including discussions about wages, hours, working conditions, health and safety issues). Our Code of Conduct or any of MERIT’s policies are not intended to restrict or interfere with your rights under the law.

Guidance and Concerns
If you have any questions or concerns please speak up – your voice is important and vital. You may contact Justin Spencer (Head of People) or Tej Sandhu (owner, MERIT Brewing) or any member of the leadership team that is accessible to raise concerns or ask questions about our Code of Conduct or any MERIT Brewing policies or practices.

Safe and Anonymous Reporting
MERIT understand that disclosure and reporting of misconduct concerns regarding members of the MERIT team can be challenging.  MERIT is working with Jalapeno Employee Engagement, a third-party HR services provider, to create an outreach hotline for employees to anonymously and safely report. Further updates and information are forthcoming.

Anti-Retaliation Policy
MERIT Brewing does not tolerate retaliation against or the victimization of any team member who raises concerns or questions regarding a potential violation of the MERIT Code of Conduct or any policy that they reasonably believe to have occurred, have witnessed or experienced.

Breaking the Code
We take all potential violations of the Code of Conduct seriously. These violations can lead to disciplinary action up to and including and termination of employment. If any action violates the law, it could result in fines or criminal prosecution.

MERIT Brewing is a safe space for all people. Any harassment of MERIT employees, guests, visitors, customers or associates will not be tolerated.

Our Word
We speak favourably to, and of, our guests, our teammates, the brewery, other breweries or businesses (whether local or otherwise), our licensee partners past and present, local and out-of-town restaurants, bars and establishments, as well as other associated business partners or collaborators. This includes, but is not limited to, internal conversations between MERIT employees, members of the MERIT Leadership Team, or with non-MERIT employees, as defined as:

  • At the workplace(s) – (107 James Street North, 249 John St.)
  • At employment-related social functions;
  • In the course of work assignments outside the workplace;
  • During work-related travel;
  • Over the telephone, if the conversation is work-related; or
  • Elsewhere, if the person is there as a result of work-related responsibilities or a work-related relationship.

MERIT Brewing Employment at MERIT is based upon individual qualifications directly related to professional competence. MERIT will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, veteran status, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, mental or physical disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, or any other characteristics protected by law. We also make all reasonable accommodations to meet our obligations under laws protecting the rights of the disabled.



MERIT Brewing adheres to the Ontario Human Rights Code definition of harassment as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome”.

The Ontario Human Rights Code describes harassment as a course of conduct or comment, which can be words or actions that insult or humiliate a person because of sex, disAbility, race, colour, creed, sexual orientation or other prohibited grounds. MERIT Brewing extends prohibited grounds of harassment to include (but not limited to):

  • Ancestry
  • Place of origin
  • Ethnic origin
  • Creed
  • Displays of sexist, racist or other offensive or derogatory material
  • Citizenship
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Number of dependents
  • HIV status
  • Marital status
  • Family status
  • Appearance
  • Gender Identity
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of rejected or ‘dead’ names
  • Unwelcome sexual remarks, invitations or requests
  • Unnecessary and non-consensual physical contact
  • Abuse of authority or position of power
  • Refusal to cooperate or work with other staff because of their social identity
  • Record of offences that would not prevent an individual from working at MERIT.

MERIT further recognizes that harassment can include one incident or a series of incidents; it may be directed at specific individuals or targeted against groups. It includes comments or conduct that violates another’s human rights. It has the intent or effect of offending, humiliating or intimidating.


MERIT defines bullying as:

  • Repetitive, health-harming mistreatment of one or more people by one or more perpetrators
  • Abusive conduct that includes:
    • Threatening, humiliating or intimidating behaviours.
    • Work interference/sabotage that prevents work from getting done.
    • Verbal abuse

Such behaviour violates MERIT’s Core Values, which state clearly that all employees will be treated with equal dignity, positivity, respect, fairness and inclusion.

MERIT considers the following types of behaviour examples of bullying:

  • Verbal bullying
  • Slandering
  • Ridiculing or maligning a person or their family
  • Persistent name-calling that is hurtful, insulting or humiliating
  • Using a person as the focus of jokes; abusive and offensive remarks
  • Physical bullying (Pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, assault or threat of physical assault, damage to a person’s work area or property)
  • Gesture bullying (Nonverbal gestures that can convey threatening messages)
  • Exclusion (Socially or physically excluding or disregarding a person in work-related activities)

Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is exertion, or the attempt of exerting physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker.

MERIT Brewing will not tolerate threats of violence or the incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to attempt suicide or to engage in self-harm.

Sexual Harassment
Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or making a 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.

MERIT recognizes that our code of conduct is a constantly evolving guideline that we are committed to upholding and observing. We will regularly evaluate and update this document to ensure it remains effective and relevant to issues within our organization and industry.