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Workplace Investigation – When should you Conduct One?

As an employer in Canada, it is essential that you ensure your workplace is safe and secure for all your employees. However, even if you take the appropriate measures to keep your establishment functional and cooperative, there will be situations when you receive complaints of harassment, violence, or other similar incidents from your employees.

Harassment

If you or your employees witness harassment in the workplace, you must conduct a workplace investigation. For instance, if there are comments about weight, screaming or shouting, discriminatory behavior or remarks, cyber-bullying, and offensive jokes are some of the forms which fall under this category. As this classification is broad, you have to place yourself in the shoes of a reasonable person, and see if the comments were acceptable.

Sexual harassment

If there is any form of sexual harassment, it becomes crucial you conduct workplace investigation immediately. One type of sexual harassment is an individual making advances or solicitation against your employee, as this person has the power to deny employment opportunities. Another form of sexual harassment is when an individual makes comments against your employee due to his/her sexual orientation, sex, or on other similar grounds.

Violence

If an individual indulges in workplace violence, such as using physical force to hurt or attempt to injure your employee calls for workplace investigation. Even if a person behaves or makes statements which suggest the use of physical force to harm an employee falls under workplace violence.

Essential tips for employers conducting workplace investigations

As the entire process is stressful, you need to make sure you hold the workplace investigation properly. Use these tips to ensure there are no problems during the procedure:

  • Make sure the interviewers speak to all individuals who know about the incident.
  • Irrespective of whether the meeting is informal or formal, you should document every stage of workplace investigations, without fail.
  • When you are taking action, make sure you explain the situation to all the parties involved in the investigation.
  • If the parties continue to remain your employees after the investigation, ensure you follow up to understand if the action produced the right results. Also, check up on the complainant to see if the individual is comfortable with your workplace.

Why do you need lawyers for conducting workplace investigations?

When you have to conduct a workplace investigation, it is crucial you do so in the presence of lawyers who are experts in this field. Although it may not be necessary, experienced individuals will add more weight to the investigation.

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