You have received an investigation notice, please don’t be alarmed. The investigation process is covered in each Collective Agreement and your Union Representatives will ensure your rights are being respected. It is the Employer’s responsibility to investigate when an allegation comes forward and it is your responsibility to participate in the investigation. We strongly recommend you doing so with the help of Union Representation, i.e.: a Steward. Please contact a Steward of your choice (who works for the same Employer but doesn’t have to work for the same department) and make arrangements for them to attend your meeting. Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org that a Steward has been arranged. If you choose not to have a Steward attend with you, you will need to sign a waiver with a Steward present, please ensure that takes place before your meeting. If you have been called upon as a witness in an investigation, we also recommend a Steward attends the meeting with you.
List of Stewards: https://cupe1505.org/shop-steward-contact-info/
Tips for investigation meetings:
Human Resources role:
- Human Resources represents you too, not just Management or the complainant.
- HR Advisors have a duty to investigate in an neutral and unbiased manner.
- HR Advisors will be transparent and forthcoming with the full allegation and they will not try to incriminate.
- HR Advisors will give you an opportunity to speak to the full allegation.
- HR Advisors cannot pass judgement or form an opinion on personal feelings, prior dealings or based on just one side of the story.
- Always tell the truth and answer to the allegation, additional information is not usually necessary.
- If you have done something wrong, or made a mistake, be accountable and apologize if appropriate.
- If you have not done anything wrong, the investigation should result in no findings.
- Additional information with regards to your personal circumstances / mitigating factors, was something going on with you that caused abnormal behavior at work? (Example: anniversary or your Mother’s death may cause you to be distracted or irritable in the workplace.)
- Feel free to ask questions.
- If you are uncomfortable at any point, or need to clarify something with your Union Representative alone, ask for a caucus.
- A fair number of investigations result in no findings.
- Where discipline is necessary, our Employers follow the principals of progressive discipline, if you have done something wrong or are having difficulties with performance, the following steps will most likely be followed:
Not considered discipline:
- verbal coaching
- written coaching (expectation letter)
- verbal warning
- written warning
- suspensions with an improvement plan (progressive, 1 day, 2 days, etc.)
- lastly termination
- Note: actions that are utterly outrageous (example: physical violence) may lead to termination without progressive discipline
Receiving an investigation notice can cause a lot of apprehension, but please rest assured that with the help of a Steward, you will get through this process and we will ensure your rights under the Collective Agreement, Human Rights, Employment Standards, etc. are respected.
CUPE Local 1505