Workplace Investigation Northern Ontario- (705) 268-6492

An employer’s duty to investigate is triggered when the employer should reasonably be aware of possible misconduct, and/or when the employer has received an oral complaint, a written complaint, or an anonymous complaint. Workplace complaints can originate from employees, customers, or third parties. While investigations can be conducted internally, it is imperative that the internal investigator be able to put his or her daily tasks aside and immediately jump in and conduct the investigation. Where many employers end up in hot water is not because of an internal investigator’s failure to investigate; it is because their investigation is found to be flawed, inadequate and/or biased. Many internal investigators do not have the necessary knowledge and or training or the time to conduct a proper workplace investigations

Both Suzanne and Oana have received workplace investigation training from Roger Beaudry of Aptus Conflict Solutions. Prior to receiving her most recent training, Suzanne has conducted a number of workplace investigations for various employers. Both Suzanne and Oana are bilingual. This is an essential asset, as it allows them to interview complainants, respondents and witnesses in both French and English. Moreover, their extensive knowledge of Employment law and Human Rights legislation combined with their experience as lawyers, provides them with the necessary skills and qualifications to conduct external workplace investigations for both Federal and Provincial employers. It would therefore be preferable to hire an external investigator when:

  • 1) The complaint is highly sensitive;
  • 2) There is a hint of conflict of interest;
  • 3) The dispute involves more senior individuals in the organization;
  • 4) The allegations are particularly serious; and/or
  • 5) The dispute involves complicated legal or technical issues.

Typical areas where an external investigation may be required are:

  • 1) Workplace discrimination;
  • 2) Workplace harassment & violence;
  • 3) Sexual harassment;

It is our policy to conduct a fair and balanced workplace investigation. When we conduct workplace investigations, we consider the full employment context. We consider the workplace policies, the relevant law, the practices in the workplace, the roles and responsibilities of the parties and the intentions of the parties involved. At the conclusion of the investigation we will provide you with a comprehensive and detailed oral or written report, which includes our findings of fact and recommendations (when requested). Remember that if the investigation is done in anticipation of litigation, it can be covered by solicitor-client privilege.

Bill C-65 – “An Act to Amend the Canada Labour Code” & Bill C-65 Regulations

Bill C-65, “An Act to Amend the Canada Labour Code dealing with (harassment and violence)" received royal assent; and came into full force and effect on October 25, 2018. The Act expands federal employers’ workplace harassment and violence obligations under the Canada Labour Code. The Government has recently proposed regulations that will bring into force the amendments that were introduced in Bill C-65. The regulations are scheduled to come into effect in 2020.

When it comes to investigating workplace harassment and violence complaints, the regulations state that the investigator must: :

  • (a) Be a person other than the responding party or one who directly reports to the responding party;
  • (b) Be trained in investigatives techniques;
  • (c) Have knowledge, training, and experience that is relevant to harassment and violence in the work place and;
  • (d) Have knowledge of the Act, the Canadian Human Rights Act and any other legislation that is relevant to harassment and violence in the workplace.

As external investigators, Oana and Suzanne are impartial, they have received training on investigative techniques, they have the knowledge, training and experience relevant to harassment and violence in the workplace, and they are knowledgeable about the relevant legislation.

For more information or to book an appointment, contact the office today at (705) 268-6492.