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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

How not to conduct an investigation…yet another example

The number of decisions dealing with how not to conduct workplace investigations continues to grow. One of these decisions, Ditomene v Boulanger, 2013 QCCQ 842, comes from the Quebec Court and while the case was decided under the Civil Code of Quebec, it provides a laundry list of flaws that should be avoided in a

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Mind your own business!

Recently I was asked to conduct an investigation by an organization that had received a complaint from another organization with which they did business, on behalf of one of its employees. While many of the investigation steps will be the same as in a more traditional internal investigation, the request did raise some important process

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Porridge on toast and other workplace investigation tales from Saskatchewan

The other week, my partner Chris Thomlinson and I conducted our first workplace investigation training session in Regina, Saskatchewan. We were with a great group of people. To prepare, Chris and I reviewed a number of interesting workplace investigation cases that have been decided in Saskatchewan, but have principles applicable for workplaces and investigators across the

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Reading the Rutgers investigation report

When delivering our workplace investigation training, we often discuss the need to assume a wide readership for the investigation reports that we prepare, and to write accordingly. Few of us, however, should expect a readership that the investigators tasked with looking into allegations against the Rutgers men’s basketball coach knew that they would face. Video

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Terminating an employee facing misconduct allegations may defy duty of fairness

When an employer is made aware of allegations of employee misconduct, employment lawyers generally advise that they are expected to respond fairly and conduct some form of investigation before reaching any conclusion on fault for the misconduct and any resulting discipline. Given the potential duration and cost of an investigation process, an employer may be

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The essential human rights primer for workplace investigators

Since joining Rubin Thomlinson, I have had the opportunity to deliver workplace investigation training to hundreds of human resources professionals who are challenged in their workplaces to respond to issues of discrimination and harassment. During that time, I’ve noticed an increasing recognition of the duty to investigate these matters, and in some cases, I’ve seen

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Ontario jury awards former Walmart employee $1.46 million for constructive dismissal

Setting a new “high-water mark” for damages in constructive dismissal cases in Ontario, a jury in Windsor, Ontario has awarded a former Walmart employee $1.46 million in damages, after finding that she was constructively dismissed. In delivering its verdict on October 10, 2012, the jury concluded that the employee had suffered abusive treatment, including mental

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Textual harassment – The new frontier?

We are all familiar with sexual harassment as a subject matter for workplace investigations.  In a post Bill 168 world, psychological harassment investigations are also becoming common.   However, with an increasingly wired workforce dependent on electronic communication, we are in a new era in which employees are becoming victim to “textual harassment”.  In our firm,

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