Providing fair, complete, timely, cost efficient and proportionate workplace investigations.
Employers and Unions are often required to investigate allegations of bullying and harassment, collective agreement and human rights violations or non-compliance with the Workers Compensation Act and its regulations, policies and guidelines. The investigations must be fair, complete and proportionate to the issues raised by the evidence. An outside Investigator acts impartially and will follow the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness when dealing with witnesses, complainants and respondents to extract evidence and make reliable findings of fact and credibility. The Investigator is also able to offer practical recommendations for dealing with workplace conflict in a timely and cost efficient way.
Please contact one of us at Solvit to discuss how we can help.
FAQ - Workplace Investigations
What Happens In A Workplace Investigation?
The Investigator will initially review allegations of alleged workplace misconduct and gather relevant background materials relating to the business operations of the employer or union. The Investigator will work with the contact person from the employer or union to schedule a list of potential employees to interview. The employee(s) accused of misconduct will usually be scheduled last to ensure any allegations of misconduct are put to them so they can fully respond. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigator will provide a report to the employer or union for its consideration.
Do I Need a Representative for my Interview?
Typically it is not mandatory. Employees who hold a bargaining unit position may ask for a union representative to attend the interview for moral support. It is less common to find representatives attending an interview involving an excluded (non-bargaining unit) employee.
Does the Employer and Union ever conduct Joint Investigations?
Sometimes. The Investigator is typically retained by management as its designate and the union designates one of its officers. The Investigator and Union designate jointly conduct the employee interviews. They may also reach agreement about findings of fact and credibility and issue a joint report. In discipline cases, human resources staff will review the report and later reasonably exercise its management right to determine what discipline if any, should be applied having regard for the findings of facts discovered during the investigation and the applicable law.
Who Pays for the Investigation?
The organization responsible for conducting the investigation bears this cost.
How Quickly will an Investigation take Place?
This often depends on the complexity of the investigation and the availability of employee witnesses. The Investigator is mindful of the need for employers and unions to conduct timely investigations. In some cases, the Investigator may share with the employer or union, after the investigation is concluded but before a final report is published, the likely findings of fact and credibility if that assists the parties take proactive measures in dealing with the workplace conflict.