Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Ontario Human Rights Code
, Employers have a legal obligation and responsibility to provide both their employees and the public with safe, comfortable and health environments that are free from discrimination and harassment. Environments are not limited to the physical workspace. They also include the psychological (i.e., thoughts, behaviours) and socio-psychological environments (i.e., discrimination, harassment, workplace violence, etc.).
Conflicts can arise between co-workers, supervisors and subordinates, or between employees and external stakeholders (i.e., customers, suppliers and regulatory bodies). When they do, it is important to manage those conflicts and to do so in a timely manner.
Where allegations of harassment, bullying, discrimination, theft, workplace violence, fraud or other types of dishonesty are involved, it is mandatory that workplace investigations are conducted in a timely, thorough and objective manner. Other situations that may
warrant investigations include:
- Performance issues;
- Disciplinary cases such as allegations of misconduct;
- Complaints (by employees, customers, members of the public);
- Human Rights complaints;
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act complaints;
- Occupational Health & Safety Act complaints (harassment, bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment, violence in the workplace); or
- Breaches of internal policy and breaches of law.
- Support the employer’s team by providing practical advice, principled solutions and decades of proven expertise conducting investigations;
- Conduct or oversee impartial third-party investigations or assist the employer’s team to do so;
- Provide a comprehensive and detailed written report following an investigation detailing the findings;
- Assist the employer’s team to better manage workplace conflict:
- Assist the employer’s team to identify causes of conflict by conducting workplace assessments in which information is gathered relating to the culture, practices or behaviour in the workplace;
- Develop and deliver customized Respect in the Workplace Training to the employer’s team and employees;
- Conduct investigations in which probing interviews are conducted with identified individuals to determine what subsequent processes are required.