Federal Court

Labour and Employment Law

Occupational health and safety legislation

Administrative procedures under legislation

Investigator required to provide reasonable opportunity to rebut adverse evidence

Procedural fairness. Employee alleged to have been victim of ongoing psychological harassment in workplace since 2009. Employee brought complaint under s. 20.2 of Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations concerning violence in workplace. Investigator was appointed and concluded that it was not case of workplace violence within meaning of Regulations as actions referred to in complaint related to mainly managers or executives and she had personal condition that was independent of work. Employee brought application for judicial review. Application granted. Duty of procedural fairness was breached. It was impossible for employee to anticipate testimony of executives and employees interviewed and investigator was required to provide her with reasonable opportunity to rebut any adverse evidence gathered in her absence. It was questionable how investigated could dismiss, at end of very summary inquiry, psychological damage suffered by employee because of acts of violence based on employee’s emotional fragility when he did not appear to have any medical expertise or particular qualifications.

Pronovost c. Canada (Revenu national) (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 6812, 2017 CF 1077, Luc Martineau J. (F.C.).

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