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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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Dois-je tout dévoiler à la partie intimée? | Do I have to tell the respondent everything?

C’est une question que l’on nous pose souvent pendant notre formation sur les techniques de base en matière d’enquêtes au travail. Devons-nous vraiment tout dévoiler avant l’entrevue avec la partie intimée? Certains participants pensent que la partie intimée fournira des informations plus spontanées et candides s’il y a un élément de surprise pendant l’entrevue. Si la partie intimée reçoit une information détaillée, elle aura ainsi plus de temps pour inventer une histoire qui se conforme aux allégations et aux éléments de preuve. Cette tactique, toutefois, se fond sur une supposition que l’intimé cache quelque chose et est donc « coupable » de ce dont il est accusé. Cette approche n’est pas impartiale et peut mener à une conclusion que la partie intimée a été privée de son droit à l’équité procédurale.

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Understanding the reader: A lesson in report writing

I began my legal career as a young litigation associate in private practice and like many lawyers, found the first few years tough. The hours were often long, the timelines tight and the pressure to produce perfect work was constant. At the time, it was difficult to see why I was putting myself through this and eventually, I left private practice to become in-house counsel. I reflected upon those years many times after I left and begrudgingly, came to realize that the training I received had served me well over the course of my career. This was especially true of the writing skills I had developed, mostly by preparing court submissions under the supervision (read: scrutiny) of senior lawyers. These lawyers taught me the importance of putting myself in the shoes of the reader, a lesson that has had the most impact on the way I write investigation reports and review the reports of other investigators.

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When declaring a complaint to be frivolous or vexatious, employers need to tread lightly

Workplace investigations can be hard on parties and employers alike, and the challenges don’t end when the investigation is over. At the conclusion of the investigation, decisions need to be made: What consequences (if any) will there be for the respondent? How will the employer remediate the working relationship? Is it even possible to do so?

A question I often get asked as an external investigator when the allegations turn out to be unsubstantiated is: Does this mean that the complaint was frivolous or vexatious, and if so should there be consequences for the complainant?

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Fact or Fiction: The Truth about Workplace Mediation

Workplace mediation is quickly becoming a sought-after method by which to restore the workplace following an investigation or in some cases to avoid a formal investigation altogether. More frequently, it is being included in the dispute resolution mechanisms and policies in many organizations and institutions. Unfortunately, however, there is still some confusion about what mediation is and what it is not which has led to some resistance in the utilization of the process. Here are some commonly held views which are thought to be fact but are actually fiction.

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