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For Employees
What to expect

What to expect if you report reprisal

If you make a reprisal complaint, an investigator from our office will contact you within 2 business days to clarify the details of your complaint.

You can submit your reprisal complaint in writing by completing our online form.

Review & Assessment
Each reprisal complaint is assessed based on the information provided and the individual
circumstances of the complaint. Your identity will be kept confidential during this process.You will be informed of our decision about whether or not we will investigate your report.

 

Investigation
If your complaint is investigated, additional contact with you will depend on the individual
circumstances of the investigation.The investigation will be completed as quickly as possible.

 

Report & Recommendations
When the investigation is completed, you will receive information about its conclusions and findings.

If it is found that you were reprised against, you will be consulted with about any recommendations we may make which would directly affect your employment.

 

For a more detailed explanation of our investigative process, please use the interactive graphic below.

Reprisal Report to the Ombudsperson

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The Office of the Ombudsperson can investigate reports of reprisal from employees. If reprisal is found to have occurred, the Ombudsperson can make recommendations to address the reprisal.

A current or former government employee who wants to make a report can contact our office by phone, email, in person or by completing our online Reprisal Complaint Form. Reprisal reports must be made in writing. If an employee calls our office they can speak directly with an Ombudsperson Officer to get further information about making a report.

If an employee submits a report in writing, an Ombudsperson Officer will call the person within 2 business days to confirm receipt.

We treat the information we receive during a reprisal report confidentially and the information cannot be accessed through requests made under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Assessment of the Report

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Each reprisal report made to our office will be assessed on its merits to determine if an investigation is warranted.

When we receive a reprisal report, we will first determine if the report meets the threshold for a reprisal as defined in the Act. The report must include the following elements:

  1. the employee has done a protected act (sought advice, made a report of wrongdoing or cooperated with an investigation under PIDA);
  2. the employee has suffered one or more adverse measures that affects their employment or working conditions;
  3. the adverse measure happened because the employee did a protected act.

An Ombudsperson Investigator will contact the employee who made the reprisal report to confirm the substance of the allegations and ask for any further details needed for the assessment.

Decide whether to investigate

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If the report meets the criteria for reprisal, we will next assess whether we are barred from investigating under the Act or whether there is another valid reason not to investigate.

We will notify the employee before we begin an investigation. If we decide not to investigate, we will provide the employee with written reasons for our decision.

Determine when the investigation should commence

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The Ombudsperson may decide to postpone an investigation decision.

In the following situations an investigation decision will be postponed:

  • The Ombudsperson has identified an alleged offence related to the reprisal report and made a report to law enforcement
  • The Ombudsperson considers that our office’s investigation may compromise another investigation
  • The report brought to our office is also being investigated for the prosecution of an offence

If the Ombudsperson makes a decision to postpone, the employee will be notified of this decision in writing.

Investigation

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When our office makes a decision to investigate a report, we will inform the employee.

Our office conducts investigations fairly and impartially. We will gather evidence to determine whether, on a balance of probabilities, reprisal occurred. Our office can obtain evidence in the manner we consider appropriate, including obtaining documents and other records and interviewing witnesses under oath.

A fair investigation into a reprisal report includes informing the alleged repriser of the allegations against them, which includes providing information about the details of the report.

 

Discontinue Investigation

Our office may discontinue an investigation if we determine, during the course of the investigation, that further investigation is not warranted. For example, we may discontinue the investigation if we determine that another body has already adequately investigated the allegations.

If we decide to discontinue an investigation, we will provide the employee with written reasons for our decision.

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