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Joseph Oppenheim in the Canadian HR Reporter – Dishonesty in Workplace Investigation

April 25, 2023

Carbert Waite LLP Partner and Employment Lawyer, Joseph Oppenheim, made a recent contribution to the Canadian HR Reporter. In the article titled “Failing to report incident, dishonesty in investigation provide just cause to dismiss worker” Joseph discusses an Alberta Labour Relations Board ruling where an oil sands enterprise in Alberta was determined justified in dismissing an employee who neglected to report an occurrence involving heavy machinery as mandated by the company’s policy.

He explains that employers have an obligation to react strongly to safety breaches in safety-sensitive work environments. He also notes that had the company not had textbook policies and procedures in place, there may not have been a case for just cause for dismissal.

“The employer had the right policies in place, they conducted an investigation that appeared to be done reasonably well, they gave the employee an opportunity to respond, they provided information to the worker – I don’t think the employee could credibly say that somehow the investigation wasn’t fair,”

Joseph also emphasizes the significance of employers carrying out a just and thorough inquiry into any safety violation or unethical behavior.

“Conduct a proper investigation before actually taking steps to terminate employment or issue any discipline,” he says. “You have to give the employee the opportunity to know of misconduct that they’re being accused of and a fair opportunity for them to respond to that and give their side of the story.”

To read the article, please visit the Canadian HR Reporter here.