Federally regulated employers: Resolve a workplace harassment and violence complaint – Resolve the incident with the complainant

Before following the steps to resolve a complaint with your employee, ensure that you have read the definition of harassment and violence and definitions of key terms .

3. Resolve the incident with the complainant

Whenever a complaint is made, as an employer you have an obligation to resolve it. You must follow these steps to resolve the incident with the complainant.

Step 1

When you or the designated recipient receives a complaint, inform the employee who is the object of the occurrence (the principal party) within 7 days that:

If the principal party or a witness wishes to make a complaint orally, you must fill out a notice of occurrence form on their behalf to document the incident. You are encouraged to develop a form that your employees can use to notify occurrences or you can use this sample notice template. The form must contain:

Step 2

In your official response to the notice of occurence to the principal party, inform them of the following:

Step 3

You or the designated recipient must set up a meeting with the principal party (in person, virtually, phone, etc.) within 45 days of receiving the complaint to begin negotiated resolution. You, the designated recipient and the principal party must make every reasonable effort to resolve the occurrence through this process.

Step 4

As part of negotiated resolution, you or the designated recipient will jointly review with the principal party the complaint against the definition of harassment and violence. You or the designated recipient is required to proceed with the resolution process if:

You must complete the resolution process in a transparent manner within 1 year of receiving the complaint.

Step 5

If the occurrence is not resolved through negotiated resolution, you must give the principal party the option of seeking resolution through conciliation and/or an investigation. These options may run parallel to continued efforts under negotiated resolution.

If the principal party chooses to proceed with conciliation

Both the principal party and the responding party will have to jointly agree to participate in conciliation. Both will also have to agree on who will act as the conciliator.

If the principal party chooses to proceed with investigation

You or the designated recipient must provide the principal party and the responding party with notice that an investigation will be carried out. You can appoint an investigator from a list of investigators that has been jointly developed with the following (depending on the size of your workplace):

If you do not have a jointly developed list of investigators as above, then you or the designated recipient are required to jointly decide with the principal and responding party on who will act as the investigator. You must jointly reach a decision within 60 days starting when you or the designated recipient provided notice of an investigation.

Step 6

If you or designated recipient, the principal party and the responding party cannot agree on the investigator within 60 days after the day on which you or designated recipient provided the notice of an investigation, you can select a qualified investigator from the list provided by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

Step 7

At the end of the investigation, the investigator will submit a report that provides:

Once you have received the investigator’s report you must meet with the workplace committee or the health and safety representative. Together you will determine which of the recommendations set out in the investigator’s report should be implemented.

Step 8

As an employer, you must:

Investigation and reporting of hazardous incidents and deaths

If an employee dies because of an occurrence of harassment or violence, you must report to the Labour Program within 24 hours:

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