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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Jocks and locker room talk? Lessons for workplace investigators from research on student athletes and sexualized violence

Over the past several years, high profile allegations, investigations, and findings of sexualized violence in sports have garnered significant media attention, both within Canada and around the world. As a workplace investigator who focuses on investigations and assessments in the education sector, these incidents have gotten me thinking about the intersection between secondary and post-secondary institutions, athletes, and misconduct.

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Sex, lies, and celebrities: What employers can learn from the Russell Brand allegations

In recent weeks, allegations have been raised about actor/comedian Russell Brand regarding various instances of sexual assault, emotional abuse, and bullying from four anonymous women. As outlined below, this story provides several important takeaways for employers and investigators who deal with these issues.

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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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