Workplace Investigation Case Studies

The following case studies illustrate our client and solutions-focused approach:

The Poisoned Work Environment

The Challenge:
An employee working shift work for a large Ontario-based corporation alleged that, for the past two years, he had been the victim of racial taunts, name-calling, shunning, and aggressive behaviour by 10 members of his workgroup. Two different unions and their representatives were involved.

The Solution:
Janice Rubin conducted a thorough workplace investigation to determine whether these incidents occurred, whether company policy was violated, and whether the organization had any legal exposure. Janice met with the complainant and his representative, as well as the respondent and his representative, and interviewed a number of witnesses. The findings, including statements from a group that witnessed the behaviour, confirmed that long-standing bad behaviour had been allowed to poison the work environment. Following the investigation, the complainant was assigned to a new workgroup, the antagonistic ringleader was fired, and the other workgroup members were disbanded and disciplined.

The Anonymous Complaint

The Challenge:
A series of anonymous complaints were received by a company’s Board of Directors. The complaints, sent by fax from a fax machine internal to the company, alleged that a manager was engaging in inappropriate behaviour and had an aggressive management style.

The Solution:
Given the seriousness of the complaints and the lack of an identified complainant, Cory Boyd interviewed all current employees of the company as part of his review. Letters were sent to all employees notifying them of the process and Cory attended their offices to conduct the interviews. Cory interviewed the employees about the workplace culture and measured his findings against the company’s policies and provincial legislation. Cory ultimately found that the manager’s behaviour did not amount to harassment.