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.
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.
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.
In the normal course of a workplace investigation, the investigator interviews the parties and the witnesses, obtains relevant documents, conducts follow-up interviews where needed, and then drafts a report using the evidence gathered.
In August 2020, my colleague Veronica Howard and I published a blog on conducting workplace assessments under Bill C-65. At that time, Bill C-65 and the related Regulations set out the requirements that federally regulated employers were required to meet in order to satisfy their obligations under the Canada Labour Code (CLC)…
Good investigators worry about timeliness – it’s a requirement of the job. On the one hand, we understand that we must be thorough and produce a good, legally defensible investigation report. On the other, we also know that there are parties and clients (whether internal or external), waiting for the results of the investigation.
When conducting a workplace investigation, particularly those involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, or reprisal, one issue that may arise is the relevance of the intentions of the respondent.
Workplace assessments have emerged as a popular and very useful tool to proactively address and respond to concerns in the workplace. It is quite often used to gather information about culture, practices, or behaviours in the workplace, to identify the cause of conflicts, or to identify potential opportunities for improvement in particular areas…