Human Resources and Employment Practices

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Investigation of Employment Standard/Human Rights Complaints


workplaceStructured and planned investigation principles also apply to employment standard and human rights based complaints and charges. Hence, the value of applying the third-party concept cannot be over emphasized. When the circumstances surrounding one of these aspects of workplace conduct is investigated by an internal employee (usually a manager or senior management representative) there is inevitably going to be significant doubt from within the organization about the validity of the process, the investigation findings and the ultimate consequences levied if applicable. This third-party support would be of particular value to situations involving human rights complaints where a conflict has occurred between management and an employee(s). Under these kinds of circumstances it is extremely helpful to have an independent investigator who can step in without notice, conduct appropriate interviews and then provide detailed reporting to senior management.

There has been an increasing trend in the number of human rights and privacy based complaints that originate in the workplace; it is important to remember that having key management representatives involved in the investigation of a workplace incident can also prejudice the company's ability when appearing before a Human Rights panel or in civil litigations in the future. Their role in gathering evidence from both the complainant and from the parties who have alleged to have violated someone's human rights can be viewed as a significant conflict.

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