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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Investigation trends: Managing managerial discretion

Most organizations allow employees to use some degree of discretion (i.e., use their own judgement) when making hiring, promotional, and pay decisions. I have noticed a trend in several of my recent investigations, which is that the exercise of managerial discretion became a source of friction and …

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Who’s on the hook? Vicarious liability and human rights law

One question that often arises when addressing incidents of discrimination or harassment under human rights legislation is who is liable. This issue arose in a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Incognito v Skyservice Business Aviation Inc., …

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“Accent translation” software? It’s time to flip the script on linguistic hierarchies

Language discrimination is a harmful reality in many workplaces, and employers need to be proactive in not only preventing it, but in celebrating and promoting language diversity. In a world where 281 million people live in countries other than where they were born, and with a record number of Canadians (13%) reporting a first language other than English or French, this issue is more important than ever. The rise of controversial new voice-altering technology, which perpetuates existing hierarchies about who speaks English with the “right” accent and who does not, adds to this urgency.

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Investigations involving white fragility

If you are an investigator like me, you may have noticed the term “white fragility” has emerged in some of your cases, especially when the investigation involves claims of race-based harassment and/or discrimination.  This may be as part of a complainant’s allegation, as in the respondent engaged in “white fragility,” or as part of a respondent’s response, as in “this is not a case of ‘white fragility’.” The concept has sparked much debate, as not everyone agrees with it. 

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