Sign Up for our free News Alerts - All the latest articles on your chosen topics condensed into a free bi-weekly email. Workplace Investigations: Employee Rights During Investigation “Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy.” Both employees and employers need to be aware of the laws governing such rights and obligations in order to ensure that they receive their full entitlements, as well as limit the possibility of legal action for failure to comply with relevant legislation. The Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia (the "Board") recently considered the issue of whether the right to refuse unsafe work protected an employee who refused to show up for work entirely due to the COVID-19 outbreak. guide to the subject matter. If a worker experiences unsafe hazards in the workplace, a complaint can be filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). While many collective agreements require representation during disciplinary meetings, this may not necessarily extend to investigation interviews, which, as part of a fact-finding process, are by definition non-disciplinary . Generally, the Canada Labour Code covers: – you might expect to have at least the same rights as if you had been arrested for a crime in terms of procedural fairness. Does Starting A Business While On Leave Constitute A Breach Of The Duty Of Loyalty? The labour rights and responsibilities of about 12,000 businesses and 820,000 of their employees are defined by the Canada Labour Code. 920 Brant Street, Suite 8, key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; You have the right to be informed of known or foreseeable hazards in the workplace and to be provided with the information, instructions, training, and supervision necessary to protect your health and safety. However, employees should note that their rights are contractual. © Mondaq® Ltd 1994 - 2020. The Supreme Court of Canada held in 2012, in R. v. Cole , 14 that an employer may legitimately search the contents of an employee’s laptop computer if it has reason to believe it holds inappropriate content. First, even though an employee has virtually no expectation of privacy in the workplace, there is a right to privacy in relation to things that are personal to the employee. investigation two meters apart or virtually through Zoom. Mondaq uses cookies on this website. You know, the you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney stuff. In this Part II, we take a closer look at virtual investigation best practices. If an employer has delayed such things and an employee files a legal complaint, arbitrators will look at the delay’s length and impact and measure this against the reason for the delay. David Brown answers this question and debunks some employee myths in this week’s post on his BC Employment Law Blog. Surveillance must be conducted in good faith, in a reasonable manner, and only after exploring other alternatives. Safe workplace environment. Or, you may think Sally your accounting clerk who read an article about workplace investigations can handle such an endeavour. Strategic Cybersecurity Insights For Canadian Companies, Navigating The Impact Of Supply Chain, Cybersecurity And Data Management Changes On The Life Sciences Landscape, Discrimination, Disability & Sexual Harassment, COVID-19 Update: The Right To Refuse Unsafe Work Is Not A "Right To Not Show Up For Work", A Word Of Caution For Employers: When Terminating Employees Say What You Mean And Mean What You Say, Working From Home: Occupational Health And Safety Implications. ), and nonverbal cues are as important as verbal communication, meeting with the employee (in a physically distant way) is preferred by adjudicators and e-mail or telephone-conducted investigations frequently criticized. You also may not even be told the evidence against you. When an employer receives a complaint from an employee about workplace discrimination or another matter that involves alleged violations of … We explained how employers have an obligation to ensure a fair and thorough investigation and how bringing in a competent and neutral third party, like an employment lawyer, can help achieve this end. If you have been accused of improper workplace conduct – theft, harassment, fraud etc. 1. Email: With many public buildings, including courts closed this article will give you a list of the courts and new procedures and social distancing measures. including the challenge of how to effectively conduct a workplace Burlington, Ontario, L7R 4J1 To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on The Canada Labour Code. They may also be used as a means to encourage settlement by a judge. You can eve… Two federal statutes provide individuals with protection to privacy and need to be considered when conducting a workplace investigation in the federal sector. POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Employment and HR from Canada. Now, we’d like to talk about workplace investigations from the employee’s perspective. The labour rights and responsibilities of about 12,000 businesses and 820,000 of their employees are defined by the Canada Labour Code. All Rights Reserved. If you are involved in a workplace investigation, you will not necessarily get to know who your accuser is or respond to them. East and Central Asia. degree of separation. For more information about Norton Rose Fulbright, see Since investigations often include references to documents (e.g. If you’re a fan of police procedural shows like Law and Order or anything from the CSI franchise, you know of the Miranda Rights. Many HR, compliance and security investigators don’t receive targeted training on how to conduct an investigation from start to finish. a full business law service. If you can’t get health and safety problems fixed at work, call the Ministry of Labour Health and Safety Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-202-0008. Those rights are discussed below. Monday - Friday:8:30 am to 5:00 pm Investigations are a vital - but difficult - part of workplace management. Phone: (905) 639-0999 You would be wrong. Training may cover investigation planning, conducting interviews, gathering evidence and other aspects of the investigative process, but most often doesn’t provide an overall blueprint for conducting an entire workplace investigation. Most major Canadian & US companies including Amazon, Apple & Google are starting to require that employees work from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are involved in a workplace investigation, you will not necessarily get to know who your accuser is or respond to them. staff based in more than 50 cities across Europe, the United Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all the Additionally, if you refuse to answer question, your employer will not have, and therefore will not take into account, your side of the story. When it comes to electronic surveillance – video, email or otherwise – the courts have emphasized the duty to balance employees’ rights to privacy with employers’ use of this material to investigate bad behaviour. It is not unusual for employees to use a long leave to complete projects they have been planning for years. Employees have the right to a timely investigation. Address: As a starting point, it depends on whether the employee is a union member. There's little doubt that a robust employee benefits plan is essential when recruiting top talent to small and mid-sized law firms. I am a manager who is responsible for multiple projects and works with people from different departments. Last week, we wrote about workplace investigations. We have 3800 lawyers and other legal