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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Alberta arbitrator refuses to award back pay to employee who fails to admit bad behaviour during employer’s investigation

A recent Alberta arbitration decision, Hinton Pulp, A Division of West Fraser Mills Ltd. v. Unifor Local 855, 2014 CanLII 57678 (AB GAA) illustrates how a lack of candour during an investigation can impact on the terms under which an employee is reinstated following a termination. The employer had terminated Thompson, a long-term employee with

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Conducting workplace investigations on the road

Occasionally I am asked to conduct investigations in remote parts of the country. Through discussions with the client, it is typically agreed that I will travel to one of their regional offices in order to conduct a number of the interviews in person. As I will only be making one trip, it is always important

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New Brunswick arbitrator concludes workplace investigation deeply flawed

Across the country, legal decision-makers are increasingly reviewing employers’ workplace investigation efforts and finding them flawed. Consistent with this trend is a case from New Brunswick, Cyndi Cross v. Irving Pulp & Paper Limited, 2012 CanLII 85143 (NBLA) in which Arbitrator George Filliter reviewed the employer’s workplace investigation, and found it deeply flawed. Cyndi Cross,

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Courier’s questionable workplace investigation may nullify release

A recent decision of the Superior Court of Justice, O’Reilly v Purolator Courier Ltd, 2014 ONSC 3266 (CanLII), suggests that questions regarding how a workplace investigation was conducted may mean that a release signed in favour of the employer may not be enforceable. The facts of the case are straightforward. In 2007, two female Purolator

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Nova Scotia workplace investigation myths debunked

As I have begun my workplace investigation practice in Nova Scotia in the last few months, I have encountered some commonly held misconceptions among the employers I’ve spoken with about workplace investigations. These “myths” impact how an employer decides to handle, or more commonly ignore, human rights complaints in the workplace, often to the detriment

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You’ve been named in a workplace harassment complaint. Now what?

Lately, I have had the opportunity to assist a number of employees who have had the unfortunate displeasure of being the recipients of a harassment complaint against them; let’s call them the “Respondents” for ease of reference.  Each Respondent has expressed to me their initial reactions to the complaints. They are remarkably similar. They tell

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Who guards the guardians? Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission makes costly procedural mistakes

“In my view, it would be contrary to the public interest for the Commission to avoid liability for costs in situations where it has mishandled a complaint to the degree seen in this case.” In Tessier v. Nova Scotia (Human Rights Commission) et al 2014 NSSC 65 (CanLII), the Nova Scotia Supreme Court (NSSC) ruled

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Take time to set up your investigation process

“I feel the need, the need for speed.” For those of us raised in the 80s, this is the battle cry of Top Gun’s Maverick and Goose. But for many folks tasked with conducting internal workplace investigations, this quote may also call to mind the manager, lawyer, union leader, complainant or Board member that puts

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