Remote work was once considered a privilege. Requests to work from home were largely denied and granted only in special cases. As the March 2020 lockdown went into full effect and office buildings emptied, once bustling downtown cores became near ghost towns. For the last fifteen months, remote work has been the status quo. Fears of low employee productivity have largely been allayed. In fact, some organizations have spent in the millions building up VPNs and infrastructure to enable remote work.
We can all agree that 2020 was a year for the history books. So much happened that, at the beginning of the year, no one could have predicted or imagined. In fact, had someone made a movie about the events of 2020 before they happened, it might have been raved as a critically acclaimed fictional horror and the author praised for their “other worldly” imagination. That might be a bit of an overstatement, but I think it captures the general feeling.
In Ontario, where I work, we have just entered stage 2 of re-opening the economy, which includes allowing people to return to workplaces that have thus far been closed. Even if a business was deemed essential, and employees continued to work remotely, now that things are “thawing” we anticipate that more employees will return to the physical workplace.
Last week, my colleague Dana Campbell discussed the difference between racism and racial discrimination, and the ways in which racial discrimination can manifest in the workplace. In the spirit of her article and her quote from Clarence B. Warren – “Everything can be improved” – we review here three human rights cases where anti-black racism occurred in the workplace, what the law told us then, and considerations for how the application of some of these legal principles may evolve going forward.
As workplace investigators in 2020, we routinely deal with issues in investigations that relate to technology, especially social media applications. In any given investigation, some portion of the alleged bullying might have taken place over Facebook, or Slack messages might provide critical evidence of sexual harassment.
Here is the fourth and final installment of our chain blog, where our colleagues have discussed their experiences with working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This post outlines some of the silver linings that we’ve discovered, both personally and professionally, as we collectively try to find our new normal during this pandemic.
On Monday, several of my RT colleagues shared a “chain blog” about some of the humbling lessons that they learned from various mishaps occurring during their first week working remotely. In response, a few other colleagues and I would like to share some of our successes – things that have gone well or solutions that we have implemented to potential issues.
It goes without saying that the entire world is currently treading in unchartered waters. The COVID-19 crisis is something that this world has not seen or experienced in many generations, if ever! All industries, businesses and sectors are assessing how to carry on with “business as usual” when the circumstances are anything but “business as usual.” In the wold of workplace investigations, the same questions are being asked.
Ordinarily, a solid workplace investigation rests on four pillars; namely – fairness, thoroughness, timeliness and confidentiality¹. If not handled appropriately, the COVID – 19 crisis has the potential to rock that foundation in two ways – it may impact the fairness and timeliness of an investigation.