Maintaining mental health and wellness will be challenging during this school year. COVID-19 pandemic restrictions kick in again, deepening changes to schools and campus communities. Fraying individual and collective health will be compounded by the unequal treatment and discrimination traditionally experienced in security and policing on university and college campuses.
We can all agree that 2020 was a year for the history books. So much happened that, at the beginning of the year, no one could have predicted or imagined. In fact, had someone made a movie about the events of 2020 before they happened, it might have been raved as a critically acclaimed fictional horror and the author praised for their “other worldly” imagination. That might be a bit of an overstatement, but I think it captures the general feeling.
I must admit that pre-COVID-19, I was wary to conduct investigations virtually. This had more to do with my own discomfort with technology and videoconference platforms than anything else. Now, more than six months into the pandemic, it is hard to deny that virtual investigations may be around for the long haul. Below are some of our observations regarding conducting investigations remotely.
In Ontario, where I work, we have just entered stage 2 of re-opening the economy, which includes allowing people to return to workplaces that have thus far been closed. Even if a business was deemed essential, and employees continued to work remotely, now that things are “thawing” we anticipate that more employees will return to the physical workplace.
Racism is on the rise as a result of the global pandemic. Concerns about its prevalence prompted Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner for the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), to issue a statement earlier this month condemning the practice. Landry noted that minority groups, and in particular people of Asian origin, have been the victims of taunts, threats and intimidation in public and online. She went on to make clear that no one should feel threatened or unwelcome because of the colour of their skin or where they some from.
As workplace investigators in 2020, we routinely deal with issues in investigations that relate to technology, especially social media applications. In any given investigation, some portion of the alleged bullying might have taken place over Facebook, or Slack messages might provide critical evidence of sexual harassment.
Here is the fourth and final installment of our chain blog, where our colleagues have discussed their experiences with working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This post outlines some of the silver linings that we’ve discovered, both personally and professionally, as we collectively try to find our new normal during this pandemic.
I was actually going to write this blog last fall but it seems even more timely now. I have done a number of investigations in the past year where some of the allegations and evidence concerned conversations on various instant messaging platforms: Slack, Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp. While I seem to have developed a sub-specialty with investigations in the Tech sector, I confess that the first time a party spoke to me of Slack, I was somewhat clueless.