You can request an investigation at the time of filing a report. Alternatively, if you initially request mediation, then an investigation can proceed if the matter does not resolve through mediation. An investigation process is conducted pursuant to McGill's Policy on Harassment and Discrimination and its accompanying Procedures.
If you request an investigation and the matter falls within the scope of McGill’s Policy on Harassment and Discrimination, then the OMR will assign your report to an assessor who will conduct the investigation. Typically, an investigation is completed within 60 days, though it may be extended, if necessary with the consent of the parties.
At the end of the investigation, the assessor will provide a written investigation report to the Provost and the parties that includes the findings of relevant facts and a conclusion as to whether or not the evidence is sufficient to find, on a balance of probabilities, that harassment and/or discrimination occurred. The Provost will communicate a final decision based on the assessor’s report to the parties. For example, if the assessor concludes that harassment and/or discrimination occurred, then the Provost will let the parties know that the matter has been referred to the appropriate University disciplinary authority. Any disciplinary proceedings are administered by the appropriate disciplinary officer in accordance with the relevant regulations and/or collective agreement.
In addition to disciplinary measures, or even when there are no disciplinary measures, administrative measures may be imposed to monitor, correct and improve behaviour. Examples of administrative measures include:
- removal or limitation of privileges (e.g., in the case of a faculty member, supervisory privileges)
- no-contact requirements
- a requirement of working with a suitable mentor.
Investigation: a step-by-step guide
- You file a report of harassment and/or discrimination and request an investigation.*
- The OMR confirms receipt of your report and reviews your report to ensure it falls within the scope of McGill’s Policy on Harassment and Discrimination.
- If the report falls within the scope of this Policy, the OMR will assign your report to an Assessor to conduct the investigation.
- The Assessor contacts the Respondent to inform them that a report has been filed against them. The respondent is invited to respond to the allegations in writing, which the assessor will share with the reporting party.
- The Assessor will investigate in any manner necessary to obtain the information required to make the necessary findings of fact. This may include, but is not limited to meeting with and requesting information from the parties and witnesses as well as obtaining any other evidence that may be relevant to the investigation (e.g., documents, copies of correspondence, photos/images).
- The Assessor will submit a written investigation report to the Provost and the parties, normally within 60 days.
- The Provost will communicate a final decision to the parties within 15 days of receiving the assessor’s investigation report.
* If you initially request mediation but the matter does not resolve through mediation, then an investigation can proceed at that point.
The Office for Mediation and Reporting (OMR) seeks to ensure all parties know their rights in an investigation process.
- An impartial and trauma-informed Assessor will conduct the investigation.
- All parties shall respect the privacy of the other party and maintain the confidentiality of information shared during the process.
- Retaliation or reprisal against any party or witness may result in disciplinary action.
- All parties have the right to an advisor. An advisor is defined as a member of McGill who is not paid for their services and who is there to support and guide you through a mediation process. The choice to have an advisor or not is entirely up to you and this would be a person of your choosing. For example, some individuals choose a McGill colleague or a union/association representative.
Reporting parties can expect:
Respondents can expect:
- To receive a copy of the written Report, which should identify:
- The allegations.
- What policy you are said to have breached.
- To be informed that:
- To be able to:
- Submit a written Response to the Report.
- Meet with the Assessor.
- Submit evidence, including the names of witnesses, to the Assessor.
- Receive a copy of the investigation report.