Workplace Harassment Investigations Training

October 25, 2021


Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act in Newfoundland and Labrador require all employers to develop and implement a written workplace harassment prevention plan, including procedures for conducting investigations into complaints of workplace harassment.

Cox & Palmer’s Workplace Harassment Investigations Training will provide participants with valuable knowledge, practical guidance, and procedural steps required to perform effective internal and external investigations.

This virtual training will be conducted via Zoom by Cox & Palmer’s Workplace Investigations Team (St. John’s). It will include five in-depth sessions:

Session 1: The Role of Legislation and Policy
Wednesday, November 17 — 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (NL time)
Presented by Michelle Willette and Ashley Savinov 

An understanding of applicable legislation and policy is the foundation of a good workplace investigation. Investigators must always be mindful of legislative provisions and policy content in respect to both what constitutes harassment and the procedure by which the investigation should be carried out. During this session, participants will learn the different types of workplace harassment, the role of policy, and the elements required to be investigated to establish whether harassment has occurred.  Participants will also learn what does and does not constitute harassment.

Session 2:  Introduction to Investigations
Wednesday, November 24 — 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (NL time)
Presented by Michelle Willette and Mark McGrath

Good workplace investigations share common characteristics. During this session, participants will learn how these common characteristics (first principles) are used to effectively conduct proper investigations. This session will also cover the types of complaints that justify an investigation and how to determine the most appropriate person to investigate a complaint.

Session 3: The Investigation Process
Wednesday, December 1 — 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (NL time)
Presented by Kate O’Neill and Mark McGrath

The investigation process must embrace the concepts of procedural fairness from commencement to conclusion.  In this session, we will focus on considerations leading up to the interview, how to identify who to interview, and how to conduct effective and proper questioning. This session will assist the participant in understanding the key processes and characteristics of an effective workplace harassment investigative interview.

Session 4: Evaluating the Evidence
Wednesday, December 8 — 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (NL time)
Presented by Kate O’Neill and Ashley Savinov 

As an investigator, you are ultimately tasked with making factual findings. In other words, you must determine “what” happened. During this session, participants will learn the legal standard investigators must apply in determining what happened and how to evaluate the different types of evidence received. We will also consider what is meant by credibility and how to assess it.

Session 5: Preparing a Written Report
Wednesday, December 15 — 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (NL time)
Presented by Michelle Willette

The workplace investigation report will represent the culmination of the entire investigation and may be subject to legal review and challenge.  A well-written report is key to an employer’s ability to react appropriately to complaints in the workplace and is heavily relied upon in making significant decisions. In this session, participants will learn the format of a typical report and what content should (and should not) be included. A template report contained in the course materials will also be reviewed.

Participants will receive seminar materials in advance of each session and will walk away with helpful templates that can be used for future investigations. Individuals that participate in all five sessions will receive a certificate of completion and will be armed with the knowledge and confidence required to conduct effective workplace harassment investigations.

Participants must attend all five sessions, live on camera, to receive a certificate of completion.

Cost: $750/per person*

*Cox & Palmer is offering a discounted rate of $625/per person  for organizations registering four or more individuals. Organizations wanting to take advantage of this offer should call Jennifer Konieczny at 709-570-5564.