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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Self care for workplace investigators

A few weeks ago, I met with a number of people who are in charge of retaining external investigators and who conduct internal investigations in their own organization. In my discussions with them, they asked me what our group of investigators does to take care of themselves. We have been talking about this for some

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Harnessing the power of the bystander: Consider the case of the Brampton firefighters

What makes a bystander tick? Why would someone who witnessed workplace harassment or discrimination, but who was not themself subject to it, complain? What would compel that person to intervene in an ongoing situation? What prompts someone to make an anonymous call to alert their employer of problematic workplace behaviour? A recent arbitral case, The

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Our top tips for effective workplace investigation report writing

Whether you are an internal investigator, or an external one, producing a report at the end of the workplace investigation process can be difficult and daunting.  Over the years, we have produced many many reports, and we have reviewed many many others.  We’ve also had the benefit of talking about how to write a report

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Human rights: 25 Years in review

Some months ago, I was asked to speak at the Human Resources Professional Association’s HR Law Conference to be held in Toronto on October 20, 2016. My task was to identify the notable developments in workplace human rights over the last 25 years. This was no mean feat. There were so many cases to consider.

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Again? Making the case for workplace investigation “do-overs”

From time to time, we are retained to redo a workplace investigation that an employer has already done. The prompts for our work on these occasions are different.  Sometimes, on review of the report (or in the case where none is produced) the employer itself knows there is a problem with the process or the

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The challenge of the unrepresented party: Consider this case from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

A case crossed my desk this week that clearly illustrates the challenges lawyers face when dealing with an unrepresented party, in this case, at a hearing at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the “Tribunal”). Luthra v CAPREIT Limited Partnership, 2015, HRTO 1658 (CanLII) is a decision of Adjudicator Jo-Anne Pickel, dated December 9, 2015. 

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Ontario’s new Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act and why workplace investigations have suddenly become more important

On October 27, 2015, the Ontario government tabled its Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment) 2015 (the “Act”).  The Act amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and in particular, those provisions brought in through Bill 168 in 2010 that set out employers’ obligations to have

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Employer whose conduct was “outrageous,” “cheap,” and “mean” ordered to pay terminated employee $100,000 in punitive damages

When I first started practising employment law many years ago, there was a phenomenon known as “building a case for cause”.  When you represented an employee, as I often did at the time, you could always tell when an employer was trying to do this.  After a lengthy and often unblemished tenure of employment, your

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