A poorly-handled investigation creates significant exposure to liability for employers and may be both costly and damaging to the workplace. While most investigations are conducted internally, there are scenarios where it would be prudent for the employer to retain an external investigator, particularly where:
- There is a risk of internal bias or a “perception” of bias;
- There are multiple complainants;
- There are multiple respondents;
- The issue(s) is/are complex or sensitive;
- The environment is highly politicized;
- It may be difficult to make findings and assess credibility (“He said/she said”);
- The complaint involves HR, a supervisor, manager, director, partner and/or owner;
- The investigative process is likely to be closely scrutinized by a court, arbitrator and/or tribunal;
- Mental health is an issue involving the complainant, a witness and/or the respondent;
In these circumstances, the professional and impartial fact-finders at JMJ Workplace Investigation Law LLP will use their investigative expertise and vast employment legal experience to conduct a timely, impartial and thorough investigation.
There are a multitude of workplace complaints that legally require an impartial investigation, including but not limited to, allegations relating to:
- Human rights violations including discrimination and failure to accommodate;
- Workplace harassment (bullying);
- Sexual harassment;
- Violence and/or threats of violence;
- Safety violations; and
- Poisoned/toxic work environment.
There are also many other instances where an impartial investigation would be helpful to the employer prior to making any employment-related decisions, such as:
- Breach of confidentiality;
- Breach of fiduciary duty; and
- Conflict of interest;
JMJ Workplace Investigation Law LLP is also regularly retained to conduct broader scope workplace reviews (cultural assessments). The information obtained in such a review is often particularly useful to employers when attempting to address difficult workplace conflict and to regain stability in the workplace.