'Just for Laughs' festival releases new anti-harassment policy

As Montreal's Just for Laughs comedy festival prepares to kick off a new instalment on Wednesday, the company has released a new anti-harassment policy for all employees.

The company has also issued a statement addressing the recent sexual misconduct scandal surrounding founder Gilbert Rozon, noting it supports ``those who courageously came forward.''

The zero-tolerance policy, which takes effect immediately, includes the formation of a new committee which will undergo training to handle harassment claims.

Last fall several women accused Rozon, who was a majority stakeholder, of sexual assault and harassment.

Rozon stepped down as president in October and sold his his shares in the Just For Laughs company in response to the allegations, which he has denied and have not been proven in court.

In March the Montreal-based company was sold to an investor group led by Canadian-born comedian Howie Mandel.

And last month chief operating officer Bruce Hills was appointed president.

The company says it expects to issue a code of conduct for artists, suppliers and industry in the coming days.