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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

What happened on the bus – bad faith complainant or victim of sexual harassment and assault? (Part 1)

An employee complained that she had been sexually harassed by her male supervisor. The employer conducted an internal investigation and concluded that the sexual encounter had been consensual, and therefore sexual harassment had not occurred. The complainant was fired for making a bad faith complaint. An arbitrator came to the opposite conclusion. He found that the complainant had, in fact, been subjected to sexual harassment and sexual assault. He reinstated her job and ordered compensation for lost wages and benefits.

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The effect of an investigation on the respondent

Most workplace investigation decisions focus on the psychological harm to complainants suffered as a result of the alleged misconduct. We have written about this issue before – see our discussion of the importance of a trauma-informed approach for victims of sexual assault here.

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The dilemma of the anonymous complaint

While the promise of anonymity is often what gets complainants to come forward, once employers have that information, it can be difficult and sometimes impossible figuring out how to handle the complaint in a way that continues to protect anonymity. If the incidents described are specific enough and/or follow-up interviews identify the parties involved, the complainant is unlikely to remain anonymous for very long.

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Excerpt from City of Toronto Equity Symposium Keynote by Janice Rubin

During the last several months, many of you have probably found yourself waking up in the morning and thinking: who’s next? Which towering figure from the world of entertainment, art, politics, restaurants, media — you name it — will be toppled due to accusations of sexual harassment? I am an employment lawyer who has worked

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The wall: Tearing down poisoned work environments

“CSI-style wall…Creepy…I was horrified…Very evil…Disturbing behaviour.” These are phrases that might be used to describe an episode of Homeland or a big-budget suspense movie. In fact, these were statements uttered by individuals who worked with the Mayor of Whitchurch-Stouffville, Justin Altmann, regarding his behaviour in office. Mr. Altmann was the subject of a recent highly-publicized

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The Young and the Restless: Soap opera lessons for real life employers in dealing with misconduct linked to mental illness and addiction

On occasion1, I tune into a longstanding television soap opera called, The Young and the Restless, as a distraction from the issues of everyday life.  Most recently however, the soap opera did not act as a distraction, but rather reminded me of the societal challenges faced by employees who suffer from mental illness.  As an

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