# 2014-004 - Harassment


Case Summary

F&R Date: 2014–09–29

The grievor filed a harassment complaint containing eight allegations, three of which implicated his unit Commanding Officer (CO). Notwithstanding, the CO acted as the Responsible Officer. In her assessment of the situation, the CO excluded from the investigation terms of reference the three allegations that involved her, explaining that they failed to meet the definition of harassment.

A new CO subsequently took over the unit and referred the harassment case to the next higher level by reason of the previous involvement of the former CO. Upon taking the case, however, the formation Commander (Comd) did not reopen the terms of reference, rather accepting the investigation report prepared under the original terms of reference. The formation Comd concluded that there was no harassment. The grievor challenged that decision.

There was no Initial Authority (IA) decision, as the grievor declined to grant an extension.

The Committee concluded that the CO had a personal interest in some of the matters under dispute and that, consequently, there was a reasonable apprehension of bias on his part when he had drafted the investigation terms of reference. The Committee therefore concluded that his investigation terms of reference could not be accepted and should be set aside.

The Committee also concluded that the decision of the formation Comd was invalid because he had accepted the investigation report as submitted, said report having been prepared on the basis of the original terms of reference.

The Committee completed a new assessment of the situation with respect to the grievor's eight allegations of harassment to determine whether a new investigation was required.

Upon review of the eight original allegations, the Committee concluded that five of them met the definition of harassment. The Committee recommended that these allegations be investigated as the respondent is still serving in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The Committee explained that it was important for the CAF to determine whether the grievor was in fact a victim of harassment and, if so, to take the appropriate disciplinary, administrative or corrective measures.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2015–07–06

The CDS partially agrees with the Committee's conclusions. He finds that 4 of the 5 allegations identified by the Committee do meet the definition of harassment, but being of the view that the harassment investigation complied with existing policies, the CDS was of the opinion that he should not disregard the final report, contrary to the Committee's conclusion. The CDS found that the investigator had done her job properly, as the Guidelines require the final report to contain two separate findings. The CDS found that the 4 allegations did not constitute harassment by the respondent. He disagreed with the Committee that an administrative investigation other than a harassment investigation should be undertaken against the respondent, as he had already been imposed initial counselling in response to his numerous breaches, and given his finding regarding the harassment allegations.

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