A Workplace Complaint
Has Been Made
By Peter V. Matukas, BA, LLB, AWI-CH
An employer has a legal obligation pursuant to section
32.0.7(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act,
RSO 1990, c O.1 (OHSA) to investigate a complaint or
issue once it becomes aware of one. How the employer
becomes aware of the complaint, incident or issue is irrelevant as
the obligation to investigate is triggered once the employer has
knowledge and/or is aware of the complaint, incident or issue.
An anonymous complaint must be investigated with the same
rigor as one brought forward by an individual making a complaint
through formal channels established by the employer. A person
may bring forward to their employer or designated personnel (i.e.
managers) an issue or incident which they witnessed and believe
to be contrary to company policy, was discriminatory, was a form
of harassment or some other issue; all of which will trigger the
need for an investigation into such an issue or incident.
Once the employer is aware of the complaint, incident or issue,
the next step is to appoint an investigator to investigate the issue.
The company should not use their usual legal counsel to conduct
Investigators must have the
appropriate skills to investigate
the complaint in question,
including interviewing witnesses
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ APRIL 2019 ❚ 13