Mental Health Problems Before, During, and After an Investigation of Misconduct

By Bob Acton, Ph.D., R.Psych.,(1) LPI; Merv Gilbert, Ph.D.,(2) & Jessica Figley, BA, BSW, RSW (3) When complaints of workplace misconduct occur, it is not uncommon for someone to raise ‘mental illness’ as a complicating factor. It may be an issue for the complainant, the respondent, or bystanders. This mental health issue may already be [...]

By |2019-03-26T21:13:04+00:00March 21st, 2019|Human Resources, Investigations|0 Comments

Bill 21 Health Professions Act

Bill 21 of the Health Professions Act (HPA) arrives in full force on April 1, 2019. With it comes multiple changes to the HPA, how complaints are registered and adjudicated. Key Aspects of Bill 21 The new provisions in Bill 21 are consistent with the two Government policy objectives: to enhance transparency, and to create [...]

By |2019-03-18T20:39:26+00:00March 18th, 2019|Investigations|0 Comments

Best Practice Interviewing Methods in Workplace Investigations

By Bob Acton, Ph.D., R.Psych., LPI, Glen Haner, LPI, and Karen Anthony, BA, PCC, C.Med., LPI. Investigations are a key deliverable for most Human Resource (HR) professionals, and effective interviewing skills form a cornerstone in the production of quality results in investigations. Interviewing others, a component of investigations, particularly in the context of a quasi-legal [...]

By |2019-02-09T22:13:29+00:00February 9th, 2019|Human Resources, Investigations|0 Comments

Protecting patients from sexual abuse or misconduct

New provincial regulations in Alberta, which come into effect April 3, 2019, will protect health patients from sexual abuse and sexual misconduct by regulated health professionals in Alberta. Before these new regulations, penalties for sexual abuse or sexual misconduct were different among the almost 30 health regulatory colleges in Alberta and were determined on a case-by-case [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:03:41+00:00January 10th, 2019|Investigations|0 Comments

PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA AND WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS: Six steps for the best practice method for HR professionals

People who have experienced psychological trauma are present in every workplace. Some people have experienced developmental trauma in their childhood, some (such as first responders) have experienced it daily as a part of their work, and some have experienced it as part of a work-related accident or assault. Conducting effective trauma-informed workplace investigations involves recognizing [...]

By |2019-01-25T17:19:19+00:00January 7th, 2019|Investigations|0 Comments

Mental Health (Illness), Allegations of Misconduct, and Workplace Investigations

A roadmap for HR professionals to manage the interface among the areas of mental health, privacy, human rights, OHS, employers’ policies, and misconduct. By Bob Acton, Ph.D., R.Psych., LPI * The road of managing workplace misconduct, employee’s mental health, privacy legislation, human rights, occupational health and safety (OHS) requirements, and employers’ responses includes many branches and [...]

By |2018-11-15T00:37:14+00:00November 9th, 2018|Human Resources, Investigations|0 Comments

Lessons From a Harassment Investigation Gone Wrong

Sara Tatelman | September 7, 2018 published in Benefits Canada and reprinted here. Just six months after a City of Calgary employee started her job as a tractor-trailer driver, everything started to go wrong. Her foreman and indirect supervisor both ignored her concerns about the workload, insisting she simply wasn’t trying hard enough. They mocked her appearance, [...]

By |2018-09-11T17:21:53+00:00September 11th, 2018|Investigations|0 Comments

Nova Scotia Court Rules Stress from Workplace Investigation Not Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Claim

By Terry Davidson Published on July 16, 2018 in The Lawyers' Daily - reprinted here on September 9, 2018. Clarifying when workers’ compensation does not cover post-traumatic stress was the focus of a failed appeal by a Maritime police officer claiming harm from being criticized for the death of a woman in custody. The Nova Scotia Court [...]

By |2018-09-09T19:37:42+00:00September 9th, 2018|Compensation, Investigations|0 Comments


by Bob Acton Harassment and bullying complaints continue in organizations despite enhanced occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation, improvements in policies to protect against harassment, and advancements in strategies to improve the psychological health of employees in organizations. Recent social communications (e.g., #MeToo movement) have brought to light harassing workplace behaviours that have taken conversations [...]

By |2018-09-10T16:02:39+00:00August 31st, 2018|Investigations|0 Comments

Determining Credibility in Investigations

The following people were instrumental to the creation of this document. Don Phin, Pam Ring, Rogelio Ruiz, Kristen Hume Scrimshaw, and Karen Sutherland. Thanks to you all. Credibility refers to the trustworthiness of a witness. If there are conflicting versions of relevant events, the investigator will have to weigh each party’s credibility. Credibility assessments can [...]

By |2018-06-12T21:16:47+00:00June 12th, 2018|Credibility, Investigations|0 Comments