Lawyers in private practice who are not members of HRPA are not eligible to participate in this program.
With expanding legal duties surrounding workplace harassment investigations, it has become crucial to conduct legally sound investigations. Improper or incomplete investigations cost money and time and can erode credibility. Unfortunately, the consequences of an improper investigation can be dire including reaching the wrong result, having difficulty supporting an outcome, or even facing legal action or a complaint to the Ministry of Labour.
The Workplace Investigations Training & Certificate Program is an in-depth program that effectively equips participants with the ability to recognize, investigate and report the findings of complex workplace investigations.
This certificate program will be hosted by one of several experts from Bernardi Human Resource Law LLP.
The program covers:
- Legal issues surrounding investigations including requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Ontario Human Rights Code and common law.
- The psychology of workplace and sexual harassment including the psychological dynamics, contributors to harassment, bystander interventions and the role of managers.
- The practical application of conducting workplace investigations including rules of evidence, interviewing tips, note taking and report writing.
This is a very hands-on, practical course and participants will walk away with checklists, tools and forms to enable them to immediately apply their knowledge and skills. The program uses a case-study approach to honing participants' investigation and reporting skills and participants will be assessed on their report writing skills.
The Workplace Investigations Training & Certificate will cover:
- Knowing the law; when you must investigate and when other approaches may be better. Understanding the psychology; the victim and bullying styles and types.
- Conducting fair and comprehensive investigations; duty of fairness, rules of evidence and getting beyond "he said, she said."
- Detecting deception through credibility assessments and statement analysis.
- How to minimize bias in the investigation process.
- Writing a report that will withstand legal scrutiny.
The Online Format
The online format of the course remains extremely hands-on and interactive and includes case studies, role plays, quizzes, and large and small group discussions. Role plays and small group discussions are done using the "breakout rooms"
feature of Zoom.
The program runs over a two-week period and includes eight, 2-hour online sessions. The online instruction sessions are designed with plenty of group discussions and interactive activities, which are essential to participant learning. To make the most of the online sessions for all learners, participants should expect to dedicate time outside of class to independently complete preparatory assignments. . This work includes readings, watching and commenting on videos, a writing exercise, and preparation for a role play. This independent work should take no more than 30 minutes for each of the first two days of the course, and no more than 60 minutes for each of the last two days.
Below is an overview of the agenda for the online course:
Module 1 - Monday, February 1, 2021 (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.): Introduction & The Law of Harassment
Module 2 - Monday, February 1, 2021 (2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.): "What's Really Going On?": The Psychology and Dynamics of Harassment
Module 3 -Thursday, February 4, 2021 (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.): Procedural Fairness and Basic Investigation Procedures
Module 4 -Thursday, February 4, 2021 (2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.): Additional Investigation Procedures, Special Situations, and Interview Preparation
Module 5 - Monday, February 8, 2021 (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.): Interview Questions and Techniques
Module 6 - Monday, February 8, 2021 (2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.): Assessing Credibility and Weighing Evidence
Module 7 - Thursday, February 11, 2021 (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.): Factual Findings
Module 8 - Thursday, February 11, 2021 (2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.): Legal Conclusions and Report Writing
In order to receive a certificate for completing the course, participants will be expected to submit a complete workplace investigation report based on a case study from the class. The focus of the report assignment will be on participants' ability to analyze the case study scenario, make findings in three key areas (credibility assessments, factual findings and legal conclusions), and articulate their analysis and findings. Reports will be submitted approximately one month after the course ends and will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Additional details of the report assignment will be provided during the course.