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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Case Law Round-Up on Fairness: Recent examples of getting it right…and getting it wrong in workplace investigations

Fairness is something that we talk about a lot as investigators, although we appreciate that the term can sometimes feel a bit nebulous. Here we have rounded up a couple of recent cases that put the concept into effect, and highlight the importance of ensuring a fair and unbiased investigation…

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Employee who is harassed, slapped in the face, and then fired for cause gets $200,000 in damages

Sometimes, when I tell people that I conduct workplace investigations for a living, I am met with surprise. “There is a need for that?” they ask, often adding their view that harassment is a thing of the past. When I explain that it is not only harassment that is a problem in Canadian workplaces, but also violence, I am often met with complete disbelief.

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The Icing on the Cake: an unfair investigation into a joke gone viral

Recently, in the town of Lorette, Manitoba (Pop. 3,208), which is 25 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg, a little inside joke made a very big public splash. The medium? Cake icing. The platform? Snapchat. At a time when employees constantly scroll through their IPhone notifications, mean jokes blasted over social media easily infiltrate the workplace.

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Workplace Investigation Alert: Reconsidering Reprisals

Special note to Ontario and BC readers: If this subject is of interest to you, you may wish attend one of our related workshops. Some spots are still open for the following sessions – we recommend registering soon. We hope to see you there. Conducting Workplace Assessments – June 20, 2018 in Toronto, ON Learn how

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Workplace Investigation Alert: BC case shows how employers should NOT handle workplace harassment

Special note to BC readers: If this subject is of interest to you, you may wish attend one of our related workshops in BC. Some spots are still open for the following sessions – we recommend registering soon. We hope to see you there. Bystander Intervention Training – May 23, 2018 Learn how to enable &

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Workplace Investigation Alert: Lessons on workplace investigations from a wrongful dismissal claim in Alberta

A recent case from Alberta, Smith v Vauxhall Co-Op Petroleum Limited, 2017 ABQB 525, provides a helpful example of what an employer should not do when investigating complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault. In this wrongful dismissal case, the employer defended its decision to terminate Mr. S, the plaintiff-employee, by relying on the findings

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A Virtual Horror Story: Improperly Sent Email Proves Costly for Employer

With the frequent use of email in the workplace, it is not surprising that the occasional embarrassing message has been sent to the wrong user. A recent decision of the Divisional Court, however, should caution all employers that an inadvertent email may not only be embarrassing but can also have significant legal consequences. In Fernandes

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On Seeing an Employment Lawyer for the First Time: Thoughts From Two Toronto Employment Lawyers

We recently sat down to discuss what employee clients can do both before and during their first meeting with us to contribute to the exchange being successful. These are the clients who seek our advice in terms of a possible wrongful dismissal, a sexual harassment complaint, helping them respond to an offer of employment, or

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