This is the second of a series of three posts in which I summarize what independent workplace assessments have revealed about the Canadian Armed Forces’ struggle to address sexual misconduct in the profession of arms.
Canada’s Defence Minister Anita Anand recently advised Parliament that she has ordered the Canadian Armed Forces to plan significant operational changes, meant to ground the cultural transformation required to reduce the CAF’s high rate of sexual misconduct amongst service members.
On October 27, 2022, the Ontario government announced Bill 26, Strengthening Post-secondary Institutions and Students Act, 2022 (“Bill 26”). Beyond finalizing the legal name change of the former Ryerson University to the now Toronto Metropolitan University, Bill 26 proposes new rules on how Ontario post-secondary institutions (“PSI” or “PSIs”)…
Holiday season is almost here, and as workplace investigators, we know that during office holiday parties, some employees, managers, or directors who may have had one or two too many drinks sometimes engage in different types of misconduct – including vexatious comments or jokes, and unwelcome sexual advances or physical contact – that negatively impact individuals and that can even poison the work environment. This is borne out by the case law.
If you’re a fan of the NBA (“the League”), as I am, you may have heard about two high profile stories that sprang up during the off-season. In the Western Conference, Robert Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns , was suspended for one year and fined $10 million, following a large investigation into allegations of racism, misogyny, and bullying in the workplace (the details of which I will briefly get into later).
Some of the most serious forms of workplace or institutional investigations will involve the investigation of allegations of sexual assault. For post-secondary institutions (“PSIs”), incidents of sexual assault are, unfortunately, not uncommon. As evidenced by recent stories in the media, incidents of sexual assault can also arise in a variety of other workplaces and organizations.
Conducting an investigation that is thorough, fair, confidential, and timely is, to speak plainly, complicated work. Investigators must make many difficult judgement calls during the process, including which witnesses to interview, which records, texts, and emails to review, and how to weigh the various types of evidence when making findings of fact.
When HR departments become aware of a complaint, they should ask themselves the threshold question: If what is alleged is true, does it breach our policies or statutes? A recent decision of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal (“the Tribunal”),…