Staff Report #13
August 29, 2018
To All Commissioners
Re: Harassment and Discrimination – Third Party Review Update
The report be NOTED and FILED.
In April 2018, the Commission directed administration to utilize a third party to implement a process to:
- Conduct an intake of complaints and, where appropriate, conduct investigations of any individual harassment and/or discrimination allegations; and
- Conduct an assessment of LTC’s program and practices relating to harassment and discrimination. This includes getting feedback in a variety of ways from employees on their experiences relating to the program and a top to bottom review of policies.
Further, the Commission directed that consideration be given to utilizing the same third party that had been retained by the City of London for the same purposes. The following report provides an update on the process to date as well as an outline of anticipated next steps.
In early May 2018, Rubin Thomlinson LLP (the same firm providing services to the City of London) confirmed they could undertake a third party review consistent with the parameters set out in the Commission’s direction. At the time of confirmation, Rubin Thomlinson was just getting the City of London review underway, and they indicated there may be a delay in getting the LTC process up and running to allow them to ensure appropriate staffing would be available.
Phase I – Alternate Intake and Investigation Process
The purpose of the intake and investigation process is for London Transit employees to provide specific information about individual complaints of harassment and/or discrimination to an independent third party. On July 16, 2018, a memo to all employees was included in pay envelopes outlining the process. Pay envelopes not picked up by July 20, 2018 were mailed directly to employees. In addition, all employees currently off work had the memo mailed directly to their home and the same information was provided on internal LTC communication boards. Employees were also advised that additional copies of the detailed communication were available in Human Resources.
Employees were able to participate in the intake and investigation process by contacting Rubin Thomlinson LLP at a designated email address and providing their contact information and a preferred time for a lawyer from Rubin Thomlinson LLP to contact them. The email address opened on July 16, 2018 and remained open for a period of 30 days.
Based on the intake interview, Rubin Thomlinson LLP will determine whether the complaints contain allegations of harassment and/or discrimination not previously investigated and, if so, will conduct an investigation into the complaint.
If Rubin Thomlinson LLP determines a complaint does not fall within the scope of the process, or that a complaint was investigated previously and contains no new allegations, employees will be advised that no further action will be taken. In these cases, employees will also be advised that any information provided may still be used as part of Rubin Thomlinson LLP’s assessment of LTC programs and practices relating to harassment and discrimination.
Any anonymous complaints submitted to the intake process will be investigated as per the process outlined above.
At the time of report writing, seven emails were received through the intake process; however several follow up interviews remain outstanding. It is not known at this time how many of the seven will proceed to investigation.
Phase II – Review of Policies and Practices Relating to Harassment & Discrimination
As noted above, in addition to the intake and investigation process, Rubin Thomlinson LLP will also conduct an assessment of the workplace culture at LTC, as well as the LTC’s policies and procedures relating to harassment and discrimination. That process will include both a survey and in-person interviews, and will allow employees to raise general concerns without triggering an investigation. The second phase will be scheduled once the first phase has been completed. Details with respect to the second phase will be shared with employees as it becomes available.
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager