Case study: California Steel- over 100 employees – California Steel shop annex is headquartered on site where employees are building the new Apple campus.My Role: Operations/Payroll HR personEmployee overview: Hourly workers (union), 5 female steel workers (non in supervisory positions), 28 male supervisorsSituation:One of the supervisors (Brad Majors) comes in to talk to everyone and brings his company phone to you and says this really doesn’t work anymore can you issue me a new phone? (doesn’t receive good signal)I give him a new phone and take down the new phone number, I will also take the phone to our main campus to disable and wipe for repair and reissue.Supervisor (Brad Majors) takes his new phone and goes to work.I failed to take care of the phone (leaving it on my desk and going home for the evening). I come back to work the next morning to release Payroll and log on to the computer, the phone starts to vibrate. I turn on the phone and one of the female workers (Janet Weiss) is on the phone topless (This is being used as her caller id photo).What are the next steps that you need to do? Enclosed is your investigator guide. There is no template, but you will have to fill out an investigative type form. One with a policy and the other forms (investigation guide and report) and determine what steps to embark on and take if the organization does not have a formal policy or process/procedure on board and determine if the company was also in violation of the law.The word File is to show how you could be writing the assigmentThe PDF gives you the guide on how to procede. No need to fill it out.A minimum of 1’000 wordsEssay style
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With the Policy in place – Examples
Next steps, what would you do first and who would be involved in your initial discussions.
With a policy in place, you will have to do some further investigation regarding several
How did Brad obtain this picture of Janet?
Does Janet know?
Who else has seen the photo?
Note: Even though California does have privacy laws they do not apply to company issued media. This image was on a
company issued phone. I must further assess if this photo was taken with phone, if it was sent to him via email (company or
personal), and if he (Brad the supervisor) has also sent images of himself using the company phone and email address.
You will also contact the main office of California Steel to let them know that you are about to investigate in
to abuse of company property and possible harassment.
b) Second how would you conduct your investigation?
1. Meet with Brad Majors: During this meeting we will go over the sexual harassment policy, the use of company
property policy, the cell phone policy, and the co-worker handbook. Next, you will ask him if he has anything, he would like to
share with me that may conflict with our company’s core values and policies. If he doesn’t, then I will mention that Janet’s
topless photo was on his phone when she called him and is, he “sure” he doesn’t have anything to share with me that is of a
2. After getting Brads story, you will let him know that what you need to take steps to corroborate his story about he
and Janet dating for the last 6 months, and that she was the one that took the picture and added it to his phone as her caller ID
picture. You will ask him if anyone else besides he and I have seen this photo – You will also remind him that our conversation
is confidential until the investigation is over and that everything that is said will be fully documented to maintain posterity and
Third which parties might you consider talking to?
I will now need to contact the following co-workers: Janet Weiss, and the 5 other steel workers: who are they?
Janet did indeed take the photo and put it on Brad’s phone as her caller ID, she did not intend for other people to see
it or be offended by her photo. I asked her if she was aware that Brads phone is a company phone – which she did not. I asked if
she would like to file a sexual harassment against Brad at this time. She has declined.
Everett, Rocky, Eddie, Riff, and Frank: All spoken to individually do recall the image but as a pop up when Janet calls
not pushed in their face. Later Frank tells me that Brad did show him personally and he felt a little uncomfortable about the
photo. Frank would like to file a harassment complaint to place in Brads file.
d) After all this, your conclusion, and actions taken:
There was no malicious intent by Brad toward Frank. Brad and Janet have made several bad choices and will be dealt
with individually. Frank is feeling more embarrassment then bullied or harassed by Brad. I will schedule a separate meeting
with Frank to see if we can move him to another position at our Cupertino office or work site.
Brad will be taking a 2.5-hour sexual harassment class, and a phone policy reminder session. At this time, I also feel
that Brad is not well suited for the worksite and should be demoted from a supervisory position until he is able to prove his
responsibility toward his employee’s wellbeing, care for company property, and onus for our business’s reputation.
Janet will also be taking a 2.5-hour sexual harassment class and will join the company meeting regarding phone policy
and company reputation responsibility.
Both Brad and Janet will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of relationship waiver releasing the company from any
liability due to this incident should the relationship end.
Workplace bullying and harassment
The Workers Compensation Act explains the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers
as they relate to workplace health and safety. These obligations include preventing and addressing
workplace bullying and harassment, as outlined in WorkSafeBC’s Occupational Health and Safety
(OHS) policies D3-115-2, D3-116-1, D3-117-2. Employers must develop and implement procedures for
dealing with incidents or complaints of workplace bullying and harassment, including how and when
investigations will be conducted.
An investigation into a bullying and harassment matter usually follows a consistent or standard process,
as suggested by the example set out in this guide. This being said, employers are free to develop
and follow their own investigation process — as long as it is a reasonable process that meets all legal
obligations for dealing with incidents or complaints of workplace bullying and harassment.
Note: In this guide, the alleged target is referred to as the “complainant,” and the alleged bully
as the “respondent.”
• incorporate, where necessary, any need or
request from the complainant or respondent
• be undertaken promptly and diligently,
and be as thorough as necessary, given
• be fair and impartial, providing both the
complainant and respondent fairness in
evaluating the allegations
• be sensitive to the interests of all parties
involved, and maintain confidentiality to the
extent possible under the circumstances
• be focused on finding facts and evidence,
which should include interviews with the
complainant, respondent, and any witnesses
for assistance during the investigation process
Ultimately, the purpose of the investigation is
to determine what happened. The investigation
should allow all affected parties to express their
views and provide evidence to the investigator.
Details of incidents or complaints should be
gathered and recorded using a standard process,
such as the step-by-step approach outlined on
the following pages.
Page 1 of 5
Step 1 — Review the workplace policy
statement and procedures on bullying
on the details of what happened, proceed to
Determine whether the alleged behaviour meets
the definition of workplace bullying and
harassment as outlined in the organization’s
policy statement and the OHS policies.
Step 2 — Meet with each party separately
to explain the investigation process
Inform both the complainant and respondent
about the following:
Step 5. If they do not agree, interview witnesses
or other involved parties. Possible questions to
• What happened? Describe the incident(s).
— What specific words or behaviour is the
source of the complaint? Describe that
— What words were used by the respondent?
— What impact did the words or behaviour
in question have on the complainant?
• expected timetable
• overall process (interviews, review of
• roles and responsibilities of anyone involved
in the investigation (employers, supervisors,
workers, investigators, others)
• confidentiality of the investigation (who will
receive the investigation report)
• interim measures to limit the potential for
bullying and harassment, if required (such
as implementing a process to screen calls
from aggressive clients, if the bullying and
harassment is coming from an outside source)
Step 3 — Select an investigator
An investigation must be fair and impartial. The
investigator could be someone from within the
organization. In more complex or sensitive cases,
• When did this happen?
— Was it during working hours? Specific
dates and times should be identified when
and where possible.
• Where did the alleged incidents occur?
— Did the alleged behaviour occur in the
workplace? Specific locations should
be identified when and where possible.
• Is there any written or other physical evidence?
(For example, include email, vandalized
objects, handwritten notes, or photographs.)
• Did anyone witness the incident(s)?
Collect evidence from any parties involved,
including email, handwritten notes, or other
records that can help inform the investigation.
an external investigator might be appropriate.
Step 5 — Review the evidence and make
Step 4 — Gather evidence
Based on the available evidence, determine
Begin by speaking separately with both the
complainant and respondent. If the parties agree
whether bullying and harassment occurred.
Carefully consider whether the behaviour
Page 2 of 5
meets the definition of bullying and harassment
in the OHS policies.
Step 6 — Discuss the findings
The investigator, employer, manager, or
supervisor could meet separately with both
the complainant and respondent, confidentially,
to explain the investigation’s findings.
Step 7 — Take corrective action
The employer must aim to fully address
the incident and ensure that future bullying
and harassment is prevented or minimized
• complaint details
— names of all parties, including who made
the complaint and who received the
— when the report was made
— details of the specific behaviours (including
dates and names)
• a summary of interviews with the affected
• any supporting documents reviewed during
at the workplace.
• outcomes and findings
Other corrective actions the employer might take
The employer could keep a record of actions
taken to respond to the complaint and to deal
with any adverse symptoms resulting from
• updating the workplace policy statement
• putting new preventive steps in place
• updating and providing training, education,
and information for all workers
a bullying and harassment incident.
A sample template for record-keeping is
available below, and can also be downloaded
• reminding supervisors and workers of their
duties regarding bullying and harassment
Step 8 — Keep a record
An example of a simple tool investigators could
As good practice, and for future reference, the
use for record-keeping is provided on page 5,
investigator might provide the employer with
although employers can choose to use another
a written record of the investigation. This could
system. Include with the investigation file any
include the following information:
other evidence gathered, such as emails or notes.
Also, be sure to keep records confidential.
Page 3 of 5
Refer to the publication, Toward a respectful
suggestions for restoring the workplace after a
workplace: A handbook on preventing and
complaint or incident of bullying and harassment.
addressing workplace bullying and harassment
This handbook and other resources are available
for more information about legal obligations and
Resources and additional information
WorkSafeBC prevention information line
Employers’ Advisers Office
Workers’ Advisers Office
WorkSafeBC has created a package of tools and resources to help workplace parties prevent
and address workplace bullying and harassment. Access the online tool kit and OHS policies at
Page 4 of 5
Sample investigation form
This is an example of an investigation form that employers can use when investigating workplace
bullying and harassment complaints or incidents. It can be adapted to meet the needs of individual
workplaces. Employers might use other investigation procedures and are not required to use this
form. A Microsoft® Word version of this form is available at www.worksafebc.com/bullying.
Name of complainant:
Name of respondent:
Name of investigator:
Other people involved
(e.g., alleged bully,
Description of the situation (dates,
words, actions, etc.) and impact
(e.g., humiliated, intimidated)
Based on the investigation, did workplace bullying and harassment occur? Yes
® Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Page 5 of 5
Reason(s) for this conclusion:
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