How do we determine our next steps after the investigation concludes?

In their report, an investigator will advise as to their conclusions based on the evidence, and may suggest next steps regarding discipline, policy changes etc. In some provinces such as Ontario, the law requires that parties to an investigation are entitled to know the conclusions of an investigation, but they are not entitled to the full investigation report, and should not be provided the entire report as a matter of practice.

Depending on the conclusions of the report, discipline may be necessary, but it should follow in line with workplace policy. An employment lawyer can help you not only write that policy but implement it on a consistent basis, including implementing progressive discipline to correct any problematic behavior.

If the conclusions do warrant terminating an employee for cause, consult a lawyer first to make sure that your actions are appropriate. However, remember that you can terminate an employee at any time so long as they are paid out properly – either according to the terms of their contract, or paid reasonable notice at common law if the contract is unwritten or invalid. It can be immensely frustrating to have to pay an employee termination pay when you feel they have wronged your business, but in most circumstances that is still much less expensive than lengthy litigation and a claim for bad faith.