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Workplace Investigations

When should a Workplace Investigation (WI) be conducted?

In Ontario, Canada, workplace investigations are mandated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act where there is workplace harassment or sexual harassment or workplace violence. Most provinces and territories have similar legislation. Other situations when a WI should be conducted include, establishing workplace misconduct before terminating employment for cause, establishing a human rights claim, determining whether a workplace policy was breached or determining whether a workplace is “poisoned.”

Who should conduct a workplace investigation?

If a complaint is isolated to a single incident or does not involve great volumes of documents and witnesses, it may be appropriate for an employee of the workplace to conduct the WI. Personally, I am not in favor of internal workplace investigations no matter the complexity. The demands placed upon a workplace investigator are the same as the demands and expectations placed on Judges. Investigators needs to know how to question a witness which is a skill that takes most lawyers years to perfect. Investigators must be able to review all documents and determine credibility of witnesses, also a skill. Investigators must also be able to produce a cogent report that discusses the complaint, the allegations, the evidence, credibility of the witnesses, relevant law, and a conclusion. Further, and perhaps most importantly, an investigation must be done in a way that guarantees fairness and due process and is not influenced by bias or the appearance of bias. Query whether an investigation conducted by someone within the organization has the appearance of fairness and lack of bias.

If I am retained to conduct a workplace investigation, can I also represent a party to the investigation?

No. If I am conducting a workplace investigation, I am strictly neutral and will not provide any advice to either the complainant, the respondent, the witnesses or the employer or lawyer who may have retained me. This will ensure my objectivity and an investigation that is free from influence and bias or the appearance of bias.

Who will receive a copy of a WI report?

Every investigator needs to ask the retaining lawyer or company if there are policies that govern the disclosure of the report. In my view, the report should indicate that it is “Privileged and Confidential”, and the investigator cannot be called as a witness to any legal proceeding related to the events investigated. This added protection further ensures fairness and lack of bias or influence. The issue of how much information should be disclosed to the complainant and respondent, is a matter of any governing legislation, workplace policies and the sensitivity of any personal information contained in the report, including the identity of any witnesses other than the complainant and respondent.

To discuss your needs related to a Workplace Investigation, please call me at 905-257-7714.

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Core Beliefs

I strive each day to live and work by one principle - treat others as I would want to be treated. In my practice, that translates into 4 key values:

I do what I say I will do and I am honest and transparent at all times with clients, staff, opposing counsel, the court and anyone else. I provide my clients with an honest assessment of their case. If I make a commitment to a client, I keep it. Integrity also means that my clients know before they retain me what my fee structure is. If a client appears unsure of whether or not to retain me or what to do, I tell them to go home and think about it first.


Employees having difficulty at the workplace are often in considerable emotional distress when they arrive at my office. Employers can be as well. Employment issues involve human interactions, which necessarily involve emotions that sometimes need healing. I enjoy helping my employee clients think and feel differently about their situations. I also enjoy helping employers understand that their employees need to be treated with respect, dignity, kindness and fairness, no matter what is going on.


I have an organized and logical mind that works like a trip hammer, especially in court. I can very quickly sort out the relevant facts and issues in order to resolve my client's cases efficiently. Excellence also means to approach matters with a large measure of practicality, always thinking about what is best for my client and their family and/or business. Finally, excellence also means behaving with civility. I have learned to be hard on the issues and soft on the people - a winning combination.


I have also been blessed with discernment and intuition that allows me to often "know" what is really going on with my clients. Equally, my own life journey has led me through difficulties in personal relationships so I understand how upsetting a broken employment relationship is. My own struggles married with discernment and intuition allows me to treat my client holistically, not just legally. This is the thing that sets me apart from most other lawyers, so say my clients.