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Disciplinary Investigations: Essential guidance from the experts

Thursday, March 5, 2020, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm EST

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Sheilagh Murphy



Judith Begley

Mediator/Workplace Investigator

Rob Church

Union Counsel
Khiam Nong

Employer Counsel
Gowling WLG


Employers are often called upon to conduct — and employees and unions must respond on short notice to — workplace investigations into alleged misconduct. Mistakes in these investigations can be costly, resulting in significant damage awards and/or irreparable harm to employees. This session will outline the steps employers must take to ensure fair, effective disciplinary investigations that fulfill their legal obligations, including specific legislative requirements relating to violence and harassment, and describe the union's role in workplace misconduct investigations. Topics to be addressed include the following:

  • Must employers always conduct pre-disciplinary investigations? What liability do employers incur if they fail to conduct an investigation when one is required or if they conduct an investigation improperly?
  • What is the role of the union in the investigation? When is an employee accused of misconduct entitled to union representation? When, if ever, are other employees who are interviewed as part of an investigation entitled to union representation?
  • How should a union balance its duty to represent members accused of misconduct with its duty to represent members who may have been adversely affected by the alleged misconduct?
  • Who should conduct the investigation? When should an external investigator be retained? Do the answers to these questions change if the investigation concerns harassment or violence?
  • What are the essential elements of a workplace investigation? How are harassment and violence investigations different from investigations into other types of misconduct?
  • What are the best practices for interviewing witnesses? Can witnesses be guaranteed confidentiality? If not, what should be done to protect them against reprisal?
  • What is the extent of an employee's duty to cooperate with an employer's investigation? Can employees be disciplined for refusing to answer the employer's questions during an investigation?
  • What types of electronic searches, such as cell phone record searches and e-mail searches, can be conducted as part of the investigation?
  • Prior to imposing discipline, does an employer have an obligation to investigate whether disability played a role in an employee's misconduct?
  • How will an employee's honesty — or lack thereof — during an investigation affect discipline and/or reinstatement? What other factors should be considered in assessing discipline? Can an employer rely solely on an investigation report as the basis for discipline?


CPHR Alberta

CPD hours for this event can be logged online, through your CPHR Alberta member profile.

HRPA Continuing Professional Development

This program has been approved for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours under Section A3 of the Recertification Log of the Human Resources Professionals Association.

HRMA Continuing Professional Development

This audio conference has been approved by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon (CPHR BC & YK) for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development hours. Be sure to note the Event Identification Number in your CPHR Recertification Log.

Lancaster House CPD
  • This audio conference has been approved by the Law Society of British Columbia for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development hours.
  • Members of the Law Society of Saskatchewan should contact their Law Society regarding CPD approval.
  • CPD for Members of the Law Society of Ontario: 1.5 Substantive Hours; 0 Professionalism Hours.
  • This audio conference has been approved by the Law Society of New Brunswick for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development hours.
  • Members of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society may count this program for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development hours.

Additional Information

Valuable, up-to-date materials and case summaries will be available for downloading from our website. Each audio conference is accompanied by a PDF of concise summaries of the cases discussed.

Live Session – $265, plus HST
Live Session for 2 or more (Boardroom fee) – $530, plus HST
Bundle Rate – Purchase a Live Session and receive the companion MP3 Recording for $165, plus HST
MP3 Recording – $265, plus HST
(Registrations must be paid in advance of the audio conference)
Contact us for discount pricing on the entire series.

Audio conference MP3 files are available for $265. Those who have purchased the live audio conference may purchase the corresponding downloadable audio MP3 file for the discounted price of $165.

The recorded MP3 file and materials are available for download one business day after the live audio conference. After purchasing, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access and download the audio conference MP3 file and materials by visiting My Account and selecting Order History. For audio file purchases for upcoming audio conferences, once the MP3 file is available through our site, registrants will receive an update e-mail informing them that the links are now ready.

When you register, you'll be given a toll-free number to dial at the time of the session and an access code to join the call. For additional program and registration information, call Lancaster House at (416) 977-6618.

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