Queen's University IRC

Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation

The Myth of Body Language as a Credibility Assessor

The Myth of Body Language as a Credibility Assessor

Workplace investigators and human resource professionals should be cautious of relying on the body language of a witness to evaluate their credibility during an investigation. Fact-finding investigations, especially in cases of harassment, at times turn into an evaluation of one person’s version of events versus another’s, or as some call it, the “he said, she said” dilemma. In these cases, assessing the credibility of the two parties may be the easiest way the investigator can come to any defensible determination relative to credibility.

Reducing Participant Stress Before a Workplace Investigation

Reducing Participant Stress Before a Workplace Investigation

It is normal for participants in a workplace investigation to feel some anxiety, but too much worrying can create barriers to obtaining critical information, which is a challenge for investigators looking to build complete and thorough reports. Ensuring participants fully understand the process and their role in it can help alleviate unnecessary anxiety during the investigation. With a greater understanding of the process, participants can feel empowered to speak confidently in the interview and provide the investigator with the necessary information.

Practical Tips for Workplace Investigations

Evidence Collection: Practical Tips for Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigations have become commonplace across Canada. Many Canadian jurisdictions require that employers implement workplace harassment and discrimination policies, which often include mandatory investigation provisions. Whether or not investigations are legally mandated, it is sound practice for an employer to conduct an investigation when there may be potential workplace harassment, human rights violations, breach of company policy, criminal activity, security breaches, legal action, or media scrutiny.

Workplace Restoration Q&A with Anne Grant

Workplace Restoration Q&A with Anne Grant

Queen’s IRC sat down with Anne Grant, the facilitator for our new Workplace Restoration program, to find out more about the topic and the program. In the interview, Anne shares her experience in workplace restorations, including the surprises she’s had along the way. She gives some insight into what makes workplaces toxic and how this program will help organizations that are experiencing disruptions like prolonged conflicts, increased harassment or grievance claims, leadership issues, strikes, investigations or significant organizational changes.

Workplace Harassment After #MeToo

Workplace Harassment After #MeToo

The #metoo movement has empowered many women who were the victims of unjust behaviour to come forward, although the movement has its own inequities by persecuting and often impacting the livelihood of the accused without due process, or any process whatsoever. This article will explore the complex considerations regarding sexual harassment in Canadian workplaces, consider the roles and obligations of all parties involved, and review the importance of investigations and due process in relation to workplace sexual harassment complaints. 

4 Steps to Fix a Toxic Workplace

4 Steps to Fix a Toxic Workplace

How do you fix a hostile workplace after a strike, merger or other polarizing event? How do you create a healthy workplace after a harassment or grievance investigation? It can be difficult to rebuild the trust that has been lost between members of a team or in leadership, or both. But, according to Anne Grant, you have to bring people back to a joint vision of what the workplace should be.

5 Insights into Conducting Effective Fact-Finding Investigations

5 Insights into Conducting Effective Fact-Finding Investigations

Fact-finding is an essential skill set for anybody who is in an HR, labour relations or employee relations role. If you stay in this role, at some point you will end up doing investigations, and having this skill set is going to make you much more efficient as a practitioner. Jerry Christensen, who recently retired from the City of Calgary, managed and coordinated the City’s respectful workplace program and dealt with all of their human rights issues.

Accommodating Mental Illness in the Workplace

Invisible Barriers: Accommodating Mental Illness in the Workplace

Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in Canada. In fact, at least 500,000 employed Canadians are not able to work due to mental health problems in any given week. Understanding and accommodating mental illness is an evolving area that requires a flexible approach. This article will discuss the key legal requirements and interesting related case-law related to workplace mental health issues.

Paul Juniper

Director’s Note – January 2016

Do you or your workplace need a spring tuneup? It can be easy to fall into habits that may seem innocuous, but may actually be hindering your progress. Spring is a great time to review and renew, and Queen’s IRC has just what you need to get a fresh start, with certificate programs, custom programs, and some new opportunities based on requests from our clients.

Lori Aselstine

Inside HR at the Ontario Public Service

In April 2014, as Lori Aselstine began her retirement from the Government of Ontario, she sat down with Queen’s IRC to talk about her career, the HR profession and practising HR in an environment that is 85% unionized. Lori talks candidly about her experience rising through the ranks in the Government of Ontario, as well as the challenges and opportunities that come from working in labour relations for the government, which often plays the role of the employer and legislator.

DynaLIFEDx’s experience mastering the fact-finding and investigation process

Creating a Strategy for Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigations – where to begin? Like many organizations DynaLIFEDx conducts internal investigations for a variety of different reasons. In 2011, new to the world of Human Resources and Employee Relations, I was challenged to evaluate our internal processes for workplace investigations, identify risks and opportunities, and make recommendations on a move forward strategy. What clearly became evident was a strong desire to do the right thing, but a lack of consistency and clarity in how workplace investigations were handled.

Developing a Competency Framework for Labour Relations Professionals

The purpose of this Queen’s Industrial Relations Centre (IRC) research initiative was to identify and categorize competencies required by a successful Labour Relations Professional (LRP). A review of the literature and an analysis of the IRC’s labour relations programming, led to the development of a survey for experienced labour relations practitioners. The IRC conducted the …

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