There is no question that workplace investigations are disruptive and difficult for the parties involved. Sometimes parties are removed from the workplace or their duties are modified. Complainants and respondents are often concerned about damage to their reputations and their careers once it is known that a complaint has been made, and that an investigation is being conducted.
Most people never think that one day they’ll have to recount for an investigator every time a colleague rolled his eyes or responded sarcastically to a question. However, a recent case from the Alberta Court of Appeal, MacLeod v. Alberta College of Social Workers, illustrates just how important the specifics are.
Reporting Findings of an Investigation to a Complainant – What is Required?
Workplace investigations and workplace accommodations are two distinct procedures. The former is a fact-finding process that occurs in response to a complaint or incident of harassment. The latter is a procedure by which an employer and an employee work together to accommodate an employee’s limitations as a result of an injury, illness or disability. But when the accommodation relates to an illness that has an impact on an employee’s interpersonal behaviour, such as a mental illness, these two distinct procedures may intersect.