In Canada, a requirement to conduct a workplace investigation is triggered in case of harassment, sexual harassment or violence. What then is required of such a workplace investigation? In short, a “reasonable” investigation is required.
Under the common law, and specifically under Sections 25(2)(h) and 32.0.5 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario), every employer has a duty to conduct a workplace investigation after an incident of workplace violence has allegedly occurred. In other words, if an employer gets a complaint about violence at work, or if the employer witnesses violence at work, it must conduct an investigation.
The National Football League (NFL) has been widely criticized these past recent weeks regarding how it dealt with (or did not deal with) Baltimore Ravens’ ex-player, Ray Rice, when it initially discovered that he allegedly committed a serious act of violence against his then-fiancée.