What happens if one of the parties is off on leave?

This can be a frequent complication that employers face in the middle of investigations. If an incident was precipitated by an accused’s health challenges (including mental or physical challenges), or if the accuser’s health was impacted by the incident to the point where they are no longer able to function in the workplace, they may take time off work on a medical leave as recommended by their physician. 

If a person involved in an incident is on medical leave and is unable to participate in an ongoing workplace investigation, this will likely place the investigation on hold. Both an accused and an accuser have the right to tell their version of events during an investigation, and if one of the parties is not able to participate in this process then the investigation will be effectively on pause until they are able to participate. This can be challenging for employers, especially when they want to see a quick resolution. 

However, medical leaves or even statutory leaves are serious, and individuals are entitled to be off work during that time. This includes not having to deal with an investigation until they are able to return to work.