Bill 132 will force Ontario employers to take sexual harassment and issues related to workplace violence more serious. You can no longer ignore and hope it goes away.
Legislation has been in place for some time relating to workplace bullying and violence as well as sexual harassment. This is not new. Bill 132 will add more teeth.
However failing to conduct a thorough investigation will no longer be acceptable.
We recently assisted in a case involving a female employee who complained she was being sexually harassed. Human Resources completed an investigation and found no proof. The female employee, in turn, wrote a letter to the CEO and Board Members expressing her frustration.
We conducted an investigation, and the two male suspects had no idea what this complaint was about and proclaimed their innocents. The human resources manager did not possess the skills and experience to get to the bottom of things.
Upon receiving the details, we elected to conduct an open source investigation on the two male suspects and uncovered numerous online posts mentioning and targeting the female employee. We also identified others who had knowledge of the situation.
We interviewed others, and they were very informative and confirmed the situation as well as other inappropriate acts carried out by the individuals in question.
Armed with this new information, we then interviewed the male suspects for the second time. Both men initially continued to be dishonest with their responses. After a period, the two males had indicated they did indeed target this female because she had broken off a relationship with one of the males.
The main suspect had a checkered employment history. He elected to resign his position. The second man faced discipline and was restricted from the area where the female worked. The outcome provided closure and was resolved in a manner acceptable to the female employee.
You need to review how you currently conduct investigations, as well as what tools and third party resources can assist you when things go bad.
If you would like a complimentary copy of our workplace violence guide, please contact me at email@example.com