A Practical Guide to Conducting Workplace Investigations
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As author Hena Singh explains in A Practical Guide to Conducting Workplace Investigations, significant changes in Canadian legislation over the past couple of decades “have led to the requirement that employers conduct or retain someone to conduct internal workplace investigations when there are serious issues which the employer cannot resolve.” It is precisely that requirement that makes this text such a valuable resource.
Written by an experienced employment lawyer who has conducted hundreds of workplace investigations, this text is both authoritative and practical. It provides employment lawyers, litigators, in-house counsel and human resource professionals with a comprehensive guide for dealing with the most common elements of workplace investigations. In addition to including general principles and best practices related to the topic, this book offers process guidance, report writing guidelines, a discussion of seminal case law, and a review of common stumbling blocks and questions.
A number of features in A Practical Guide to Conducting Workplace Investigations will benefit readers:
- Broad coverage of the subject matter, written in plain language, makes it accessible to both legal and non-legal professionals
- Practical support that includes guidelines for report writing as well as a sample investigation report to use as a precedent
- The expertise of an author who is certified in conducting workplace investigations and has extensive experience in the area
This comprehensive volume would be useful for:
- Employment lawyers who need an up-to-date resource on workplace investigations
- In-house counsel who require a reference manual for issues that employers regularly face when going through an investigation
- HR professionals who can rely on its content when retaining counsel for an investigation
Table of contents
Chapter 1: Why and when are investigations necessary?
1. Why are investigations necessary?
2. When are investigations necessary?
3. When investigations are not necessary
Chapter 2: First steps
1. Determine the mandate
2. Understanding relevant definitions
Chapter 3: Sample fact scenario
1. Background information
2. Written complaint
3. The policy
4. The mandate
Chapter 4: Preliminary considerations before starting a workplace investigation
1. Fact gathering
2. Selecting the investigator
3. Interim measures
4. Timing and location of investigation interviews
5. Contacting the complainant, respondent and witnesses
6. Note-takers and their roles
7. Unionized employees
8. Support people and lawyers
Chapter 5: Interview process
1. Preparing questions in advance
2. Proper note-taking
3. How to open the interview
4. Background information
5. Closing the interview
6. The interviewee sign-off
Chapter 6: Interview techniques
1. Workplace investigation techniques as compared to other types of investigations
2. Interviewing techniques
Chapter 7: The complainant’s interview
1. Complainant interview notes
2. Next steps following complainant interview
Chapter 8: The respondent interview
1. The particulars of the allegations
2. The respondent interview
3. Next steps following respondent interview
Chapter 9: The witness interviews
1. Witness interview: Tony Troy
2. Witness interview: Jessica Jacob
Chapter 10: Decision making
1. Standard of proof
2. Credibility assessments
3. Assessing weight to be given to evidence
Chapter 11: Investigations gone wrong
1. Common errors and how to avoid them
2. Workplace investigations gone wrong: Real cases
Chapter 12: Report writing
1. Introduction to report writing
2. Framework of the investigation report
3. Additional considerations
4. Problems which may arise
Chapter 13: Final steps, final words
Appendix A: Sample workplace investigation report