Workplace Investigation

Navigating Harassment Investigations: FAQs

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It is not uncommon for people to tense up as soon as words of harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, violence or discrimination are uttered in the workplace these days.  Must employers investigate every claim?  If so, to what extent must it be investigated?  These are some common questions we often hear.  As external workplace investigators, we …

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Assessing Credibility: More than Just a Coin Toss (Part 2)

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In “he-said, she-said” situations, who are you to believe when there are no witnesses available or any other sources of evidence?  This is where credibility assessments come in.  A systematic approach to assessing credibility is based on a detailed analysis of several factors in harassment investigations.  In continuation of Part 1 of this blog, here …

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Assessing credibility: More Than Just A Coin Toss (Part 1)

scrabble letters spelling out ASSESS

Harassment investigations are highly nuanced and a challenge to investigate as it often involves the classic “he-said, she-said” scenarios.  In the face of conflicting stories, who are you to believe in the absence of eye witnesses?  How do you conclude what actually happened behind closed doors?    In these cases, it all boils down to an …

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The Cost of Getting it Wrong in Workplace Investigations (Part 2)

In continuation of this blog series, here are some more notable cases over the last decade where employers and HR leaders can learn from to truly understand the cost of getting workplace investigations wrong.  In case you missed the first part of this blog series, you can read it here.     Doyle v Zochem Inc …

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The Cost of Getting It Wrong In Workplace Investigations (Part 1)

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The cost and time required to conduct a legally defensible workplace investigation can sometimes be a barrier for employers – but what is the cost of getting it wrong?  This is the very question we will explore in this two part blog series by reviewing some real-life cases employers and HR leaders can learn from …

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Ensuring Fairness and Thoroughness in Harassment Investigations

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In continuation from Part 1 of our blog series on how best to approach harassment complaints, we will now focus on stage 2 of the process as we examine how best to conduct a fair and thorough investigation, following a workplace complaint.    Procedural fairness In every investigation, there are usually 2 or more sides …

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You’ve Got a Harassment Complaint, so what now?

Co-workers harassing and bullying a person in the office

One, don’t panic. Two, don’t pre-judge or make assumptions. Three, take it seriously. These days, allegations of “harassment” or “bullying” can make people tense up very quickly.  Understandably so as reputations are at stake and missteps can be costly – like, in the landmark case of Boucher v. Walmart Canada Corp where the retailer was …

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Inside HR (Part 3) – Challenges with Internal Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigation file folder with pen - part 3

In this final part of the internal workplace investigation series, let’s now examine the last set of risks highlighted in red below.  If you are new to this series and would like to catch up on the previous blog posts, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2.  Risk #1:  Internal politics skewing outcome …

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Inside HR (Part 2) – Challenges with Internal Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigation file folder with pen - part 2

In continuation from my last post, let’s examine the next set of challenges in conducting internal investigations through a HR lens.    Risk #1:  Internal politics skewing outcome of investigation Risk #2:  Bias Risk #3:  Lack of time to effectively plan and conduct a thorough investigation Risk #4:  Company policies that may be lacking or …

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Inside HR (Part 1) – Challenges with Internal Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigation file folder with pen

When employers are faced with allegations of employee misconduct, workplace investigations offer a balanced approach for companies to make informed people decisions.  This is especially critical in cases where there is a potential for termination for which litigation risk is high. Is your company diligent in conducting proper workplace investigations?Do you have relevant policies/processes in …

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Workplace Harassment: Lessons from CBC on What Not To Do

Office building of CBC where Jian Ghomeshi works

It’s out!  The investigation findings regarding Jian Ghomeshi’s case has been released.To no surprise, the report revealed a very toxic workplace inside CBC whereby flagrant disrespect and abuse of power by Mr. Ghomeshi toward other employees ran rampant.  It was noted that such behavior was condoned by management for years despite having policies in place …

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