# 2019-096 Careers, Removal from military duties

Removal from Military Duties

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2021–05–03

The grievor, a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) officer, was removed from his position following harassment complaints stemming from interpersonal conflicts in which he was involved. The grievor contested this removal arguing that it was rushed, lacked due process, and was improper given that its impetus was his refusal to participate in an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process.  

There was no Initial Authority (IA) decision because the IA rejected the grievance, finding that it was submitted outside the prescribed time limitations.

The Committee noted that no formal investigation or process was initiated to address the allegations of harassment made by both the grievor and certain civilians. However, the Committee found that the Defence Administrative Orders and Directive (DAOD) 5012-0 - Harassment Prevention and Resolution, and the procedural guidance detailed in its Harassment Prevention and Resolution Guidelines, should have applied to the grievor's situation. The Committee then determined that because the harassment complaints were not addressed in accordance with CAF harassment policy, the grievor was denied his rights as a respondent. Further, the suddenness of the grievor's removal deprived him the opportunity to respond to the Chain of Command's (CoC) intent to remove him from his position. Accordingly, the Committee found that the grievor was not treated appropriately in accordance with the applicable policy and was denied procedural fairness.

The Committee also found that the decision by the CoC to insist that the grievor enter into ADR in order to remain in his position was inappropriate and a misuse of the ADR option.

The Committee noted that the lack of due process in this case resulted in a severe absence of evidence as to the specific allegations of harassment. In addition, given the passage of time, the grievor's imminent retirement and the subsequent withdrawal of the harassment complaints, the Committee found that a new investigation into the matter would be unlikely to deliver reliable results and would serve no valid departmental purpose.

The Committee recommended that the Final Authority afford the grievor redress by acknowledging that, in the matter of the harassment complaints alleged against the grievor, the CoC failed to properly follow the CAF conflict resolution policies and failed to accord the grievor procedural fairness. 

FA Decision Summary

The Acting Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation. While the Acting CDS stated that he was unable to grant the redress sought by the grievor, he directed that Chief of Military Personnel and the Chaplain General review the file to ensure the same errors will not be repeated. 

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