What is a workplace investigation? When is it required?

An investigation should be a thorough inspection of the situation in order to collect as much evidence as possible, so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed. In a harassment complaint for example, this will mean interviewing the complainant and any witnesses, and then giving the accused the opportunity to thoroughly understand the allegations against them so that they can respond. 

Investigations come in all shapes and sizes. While it can mean an extended process involving dozens of witnesses and hundreds of documents and culminating in a lengthy written report, it can also mean brief discussions with two people followed by a concluding email. 

In some provinces, workplace investigations are required if there has been a complaint of harassment, although the law requires an investigation that is ‘appropriate in the circumstances.’ In any workplace though, especially when a serious allegation has been levied, a workplace investigation is likely a good idea. This ultimately helps you make informed decisions, and prevents that knee-jerk reaction that can be problematic if your intuitions are wrong. 

Learn more about how we assist employers with workplace investigations here