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.
Recently, in the town of Lorette, Manitoba (Pop. 3,208), which is 25 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg, a little inside joke made a very big public splash. The medium? Cake icing. The platform? Snapchat. At a time when employees constantly scroll through their IPhone notifications, mean jokes blasted over social media easily infiltrate the workplace.
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.
Now that we are one year into the #MeToo movement and (in Ontario) quickly approaching the two year anniversary of Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016 taking effect, we thought that it would be a good opportunity for a bit of a check-in.