The Importance of 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 employer that fails to conduct a proper investigation exposes itself to potential liability. Consequences include claims for punitive damages, human rights complaints, and civil legal action or grievances.
An effective and fair workplace investigation will result in a conclusion based on which the employer can take decisive and appropriate action – and preclude negative consequences.
What You Can Expect
We operate free from biases. Instead, we base our findings on evidence and thorough assessments of credibility.
We will first review allegations of alleged workplace misconduct and gather relevant background materials relating to the business operations of the employer or union. Then, we will work with the employer or union to schedule a list of potential people to interview. Those accused of misconduct will usually be scheduled last to ensure any allegations of misconduct are put to them so they can fully respond.
Sensitive and Culturally Competent Approach
We understand that when an investigation is necessary, tensions can run high. That is why we make all efforts to investigate tactfully. Furthermore, we ensure confidentiality by identifying and investigating only the issues that need to be addressed. Any complainants, witnesses, and respondents involved can be assured that their statements and concerns will be considered.
Thorough and Efficient Reporting
How long an investigation takes depends on the complexity of the situation and the availability of witnesses. However, we are mindful of the need for employers and unions to conduct timely investigations. In some cases, after the investigation is concluded but before a final report is published, we can share the likely findings of fact and credibility. This will allow the parties to take proactive measures in dealing with the workplace conflict. Our findings will be thoroughly explained to ensure fairness and transparency.
We take every measure to protect the privacy of those involved in an investigation. Employer and union concerns will be held in strictest confidence.
With over 20 years of legal experience in British Columbia, we are able to overcome the following difficulties involved with workplace investigations:
- Anonymous complaints
- Complainants who change their account
- Complaints based on circumstantial evidence
- Complaints from multiple parties
- Complaints without third-party witnesses
- Conflicting evidence
- Historical allegations
- Public complaints
- Rumours in the workplace
We have investigated complaints of:
- Abuse of authority
- Collective agreement violations
- Conflicts of interest
- Employee misconduct
- Employer policy breaches
- Financial impropriety
- Sexual harassment
- Statutory violations
- Toxic work environment
We have experience working with employers and unions from the following sectors:
- Information technology
- Professional services
Contact Neil Hain to discuss how we can assist with your workplace investigation. Neil Hain is based in Vancouver, BC.
Workplace Investigations Articles
Disrespect, Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace
The places we work define a substantial part of our lives, and of our day-to-day wellbeing. After a year of lockdown, where a ‘workplace’ is starting to resemble a loosely held digital network, business leaders are required more than ever to consider the mental wellbeing of employees.
BY NEIL HAIN
Areas of Focus
- Business Disintegration
- Conflicts of Interest
- Contractual Rights and Entitlements
- Covid-19 & Mandatory Vaccination Policies
- Discipline and Termination
- Drug and Alcohol Policies and Testing
- First Nations & Municipal Government
- Pay Equity
- Privacy Policies
- School Law
- Sexual Harassment
- Whistler Blower Protection
- Workplace Health and Safety
Contact Neil Hain to discuss a Workplace Investigation matter
Neil Hain has prepared this document for information only; it is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult Neil Hain about your unique circumstances before acting on this information. Neil Hain excludes all liability for anything contained in this document and any use you make of it.
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Neil Hain Dispute Resolution
With over twenty years of legal experience and responsible for thousands of workplace investigations, mediations and administrative law decisions, Neil uses his expertise as a neutral third party to support organizations achieve business and workplace excellence. Neil Hain is based in Vancouver, BC, and his practice services clients across British Columbia and the country.
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300-1275 West 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6H 1A6