Human Resources

Human Resources

Human Resources

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Investigation Process Questions and Answers

I’ve had a Complaint made about me.  What happens now?

If upon review of a Complaint or Report, Human Resources determines that the allegations in the Complaint or Report, if true, would violate the Interim Workplace Harassment & Discrimination Policy, then an investigation will be commenced.

When an investigation is to be conducted, Human Resources will establish an investigation process that is appropriate in the circumstances.  At a minimum, any investigation will provide a reasonable opportunity for all parties (Complainant(s) and Respondent(s)) to understand the allegations and to submit relevant information.  For example, an investigation may include written submissions or witness interviews, depending on the severity of the allegations.

The University is required to ensure that individuals involved in an investigation, or their respective bargaining agent(s), where applicable, are informed of the commencement of the investigative process in each particular case. Human Resources and/or the Faculty Relations Office will ensure that the procedural rights granted to those individuals under their respective collective agreements are maintained.

How is confidentiality protected?

Both the Reporting and Complaints Procedures under the Interim Workplace Harassment & Discrimination Policy contain extensive provisions with respect to confidentiality.   Information about a Complaint or Report is only disclosed as necessary for the purposes of investigating Complaints or Reports, taking corrective action, implementing measures to protect the health and safety of a member of the University community, or as otherwise required by law.  Physical documents created in relation to an investigation are kept in a confidential file in the Employee/Labour Relations unit of Human Resources or the Faculty Relations Office and are not included in personnel files.  Only authorized individuals have access to documents created or received as part of an investigation.  All individuals involved in an investigation are advised of their duty to maintain the confidentiality of all information shared by them or disclosed to them during an investigation.

Will I be informed of the results of the investigation?
At the conclusion of an investigation, any Employee(s) who made a Complaint of Harassment and/or Discrimination and any Employee(s) who is named as a Respondent(s) is informed, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation and of any corrective actions taken (if applicable). This information will be provided in accordance with the procedural requirements under the Interim Workplace Harassment & Discrimination Policy, relevant legislation and/or applicable collective agreements.
I have been asked to participate in an investigation. Can I bring someone with me for the interview process?
If an employee attends an interview as part of an investigation, they may elect to have an advisor accompany them.  An employee may choose their own advisor, but is required to notify the investigator of the advisor’s name at least 24 hours before the interview.  This is to ensure that the chosen advisor does not have a conflict of interest within the context of the investigation.  If the employee is a member of a bargaining unit, the advisor elected may be a Union Representative. 
How can my advisor participate in the interview process?
The role of an advisor is to support the individual by providing procedural information and/or moral support during the process. During the interview, an advisor may speak or ask questions regarding the investigation process, but will not be permitted to make legal submissions or arguments on behalf of the individual, or to disrupt the interview.  Individuals who are being interviewed are required to answer all interview questions themselves.
I require accommodation during the interview process. Who should I advise of this?

Where interviewees require accommodation on the basis of a protected ground, they are expected to advise the investigator or the Employee and Labour Relations Unit within Human Resources of their needs. This must be done at least 36 hours in advance of the interview as the investigator may require this amount of time to make appropriate arrangements. Such arrangements could include measures such as finding an alternate meeting space, locating a translator or sign language interpreter, or seeking medical information regarding limitations and restrictions.

The best time to make such a request is upon receipt of a letter regarding the scheduling of an interview.