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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

When is circumstantial evidence enough? Lessons from Re SUN and Regina Qu’Appelle Regional Health Authority

Re SUN and Regina Qu’Appelle Regional Health Authority (2017 CanLII 87132 (SK LA)) is a cautionary tale for any employer who has ever relied upon circumstantial evidence to make a finding against an employee. In this case, the Grievor, a Registered Nurse with a history of substance abuse, was alleged to have stolen morphine from

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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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Mining for details from the eyewitness: The latest research in cognitive interviewing & practical tips

One of the key challenges of a workplace investigator is to determine who did what and when – a challenge that becomes much more arduous when eyewitnesses fail to recall important details. In RT’s workplace investigation training course, Assessing Credibility, we teach participants about different interviewing strategies to enhance an interviewee’s memory. New Approaches to

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Unmasking the veil of privilege in workplace investigations

There is a growing prevalence of workplace investigations in today’s legal landscape.  Conventionally, employers have conducted investigations for two primary reasons: to minimize legal liability to employees who have experienced some form of injury or improper treatment in the workplace (e.g. injury, discrimination, harassment, etc.); and to obtain information that may be relevant to a

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How do I maintain privilege over investigation reports?

I was recently invited to speak on an Advocates’ Society panel on the subject of privilege of investigation reports.  As an investigator who conducts harassment investigations, it was a fascinating discussion because the reasons for attempting to secure privilege over investigation reports of other types were compelling.  For organizations dealing with issues such as major

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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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Termination after a complaint = Reprisal?

When conducting investigations, it is my practice to inform all parties that should they feel that their participation in the investigation and its process results in reprisal, they should immediately advise me or contact another appropriate resource. It is also important, for employers, when dealing with complaints and persons who are subsequently disciplined or terminated

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