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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Checking for gaps: What I look for when I review evidence in workplace investigation reports

In my role as review counsel at Rubin Thomlinson LLP, I review the workplace investigation reports that are prepared by the firm’s investigators to ensure that they are legal defensible. Clients also ask that I do the same for reports that they have prepared internally.

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How long is too long?

Time has always been of the essence in workplace investigations. In our practice, we go so far as to qualify time as one of the pillars of an investigation. As considerable as it already is, its importance may have reached another level with the recent decision in Toronto District School Board v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 44001. In that case, Arbitrator John Stout found the failure to conduct a timely investigation to be a stand-alone ground to conclude a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code (“the Code”).

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I’ve lost my report writing mojo! Now what?

How many of you can relate to that feeling of relief and maybe even joy when you are “oh so close” to completing a task. As a workplace investigator, I can definitely relate. In my experience, it is a great feeling knowing that I am close to placing a checkmark beside an investigation and moving that investigation file to the “closed” section of my files.

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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 recently 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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