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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Insights

Reflections and news direct from Rubin Thomlinson.
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We need a tort of sexual harassment

In 2019, the Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) released its decision in Merrifield v. Canada (Attorney General), reversing a trial court decision and definitively ruling there to be no independent tort of harassment. The plaintiff, an employee of a police force, had made a claim of harassment and bullying which he asserted negatively impacted his career and caused him emotional distress.

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Two times a charm: Why we conduct follow-up interviews in our workplace investigations

I recently conducted a workplace investigation that included an allegation that an internal workplace investigation was unfair. Several witnesses who were interviewed as part of the internal investigation had provided evidence that was favourable to the complainant, but neither party to the internal investigation was provided with an opportunity to respond to this witness evidence in a follow-up interview.

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When policies overlap

As more workplaces fill up and public life fills in again, we have no shortage of investigations involving conflicts between individuals who do not fit into the usual employment relationship category. Our firm also assesses and investigates conflicts within workplaces like membership organizations, municipalities, and service providers who deal with the public.

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The perils of orientation week

During orientation week at the outset of last fall’s semester, reports over social media alleged that up to 30 women may have been drugged and sexually assaulted at one of Western’s campus residences. In response to these allegations, students planned a walkout, police were called to investigate, and Western implemented mandatory sexual violence awareness…

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Let’s talk about texts: How to deal with evidentiary challenges relating to electronic messages in workplace investigations

I’m not a particularly prolific sender of text messages (perhaps a generational thing). I’ve learned through doing investigative work that it is not unusual for work colleagues to exchange many (thousands!) of text messages over a relatively short period.

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Rumour. Gossip. Hearsay.

Sometimes, allegations of workplace misconduct will be clearly articulated and will be backed up by first-hand evidence of inappropriate behaviour or harassment, and employers will take the appropriate steps to conduct a fair and impartial investigation to determine whether such allegations are well founded.

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