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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Supreme Court revisits what is a “factor” in discrimination

In human rights law, courts and tribunals will often find it useful to determine whether a claimant has established a prima facie case of discrimination. The test requires that the complainant has a protected characteristic under the relevant human rights legislation; that the complainant suffered disadvantage or adverse impact; and that the protected characteristic was a factor or had contributed to the disadvantage or adverse impact.

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How long is too long?

Time has always been of the essence in workplace investigations. In our practice, we go so far as to qualify time as one of the pillars of an investigation. As considerable as it already is, its importance may have reached another level with the recent decision in Toronto District School Board v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 44001. In that case, Arbitrator John Stout found the failure to conduct a timely investigation to be a stand-alone ground to conclude a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code (“the Code”).

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“Missing and Missed”: 5 takeaways for systemic reviews

We are often asked to determine whether systemic issues exist in workplaces, focussing on issues like sexual misconduct, harassment, racism, and alcohol and substance use. Unlike investigations, systemic reviews don’t examine isolated error or fault. Systemic reviews don’t uncover misconduct or wrongdoing of a particular person, or flag potential civil or criminal liability. Systemic reviews are different. Designed to identify issues involving an institution’s systems, policies, and practices, they can also scrutinize group behaviours, norms, and actions – in ways that an investigation or a court proceeding can’t.

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