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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

A primer on sexual assault investigations in the workplace

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.

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We need a tort of sexual harassment

In 2019, the Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) released its decision in Merrifield v. Canada (Attorney General), reversing a trial court decision and definitively ruling there to be no independent tort of harassment. The plaintiff, an employee of a police force, had made a claim of harassment and bullying which he asserted negatively impacted his career and caused him emotional distress.

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The perils of orientation week

During orientation week at the outset of last fall’s semester, reports over social media alleged that up to 30 women may have been drugged and sexually assaulted at one of Western’s campus residences. In response to these allegations, students planned a walkout, police were called to investigate, and Western implemented mandatory sexual violence awareness…

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International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: Considerations for your workplace

November 25, 2021, marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. As workplace investigators, we know all too well that gender-based violence and harassment is a live issue, the impacts of which can be devastating on the survivor, their loved ones, and the workplace more broadly.

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Sexual assault – a serious form of workplace misconduct

In a recent Provincial Court of Alberta decision, Dupont v. Ag Growth International Inc. (AGI-Westeel), 2021 ABPC 118, the trial judge ruled that just cause termination was a disproportionate measure following a workplace investigation where the dismissed employee was found to have sexually harassed a female colleague. The employer subsequently appealed this decision to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, who allowed the appeal.

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Welcome to the twilight zone – Reflecting on #MeToo in the wake of the Andrew Cuomo workplace investigation

You may have seen the news about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, following an investigation that concluded that he sexually harassed 11 women from 2013 to 2020. Investigators interviewed 179 people and ultimately found a pattern of unwanted touching and sexually suggestive and inappropriate comments towards staff, State employees and members of the public.

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