Sharing the Results of Misconduct Allegations
Employees have a duty to report misconduct, as outlined in the Standards of Conduct, and to step forward when they witness bullying or other human rights violations. Each year, employees in the BC Public Service fulfill this duty, and the allegations are investigated.
There are a wide variety of behaviours that are investigated as potential misconduct.
Common types of misconduct include:
- Breaches of privacy and confidentiality
- Inappropriate use of government IT resources
- Conflict of interest
- Off-duty conduct
- Misuse of managerial authority
- Sexual harassment
In 2017, 77% of workplace misconduct investigations conducted by the Public Service Agency resulted in a finding that an allegation was substantiated.
When an employee submits a formal complaint alleging that misconduct has occurred, they often have a natural interest in knowing that steps have been taken and what the outcome will be. They may also have some worry because they have brought allegations forward.
Supervisors and others involved must balance employees' interest in knowing more information with the need to protect the privacy of all involved individuals, and to not disclose information that could impact the integrity of the investigative process.
Information should not be disclosed while the investigation is in progress, as this could negatively impact the process.
Once an investigation has concluded, it may be appropriate for the supervisor or a senior ministry executive to inform a person who submitted a formal complaint as to whether their allegation(s) were substantiated or not. Even where this is appropriate, information should not be provided about outcomes for respondents nor should information be disclosed regarding specific steps taken to resolve the allegation(s).
Wherever a ministry is contemplating such a disclosure, advice should be sought from the Public Service Agency. Legal advice may also need to be sought to ensure that any information disclosed is authorized and appropriate.
Support for Employees
During the course of an investigation, or following an investigation, employees who need support can contact their union or an association that they may be a member of. They can also get support from Employee & Family Assistance Services.
The BCGEU can be reached by calling 1-800-663-1674.
Employee & Family Assistance Services
Employee and Family Assistance Services provides you with immediate and confidential help for a work, health or life concern. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through a contract with Morneau Shepell. Call 1-800-655-5004 (toll-free) or visit WorkHealthLife.