Process for Handling Reprisals
All complaints to our Office are treated fairly and equally. Our staff supports the Commissioner by following this standard process.
Steps for handling complaints
- You must contact the Office within 60 days of knowing that you have been reprised against. This time period can be extended by the Commissioner in some cases, so it is important to file a complaint even if the alleged reprisal occurred more than 60 days ago.
- The Commissioner will decide whether to investigate within 15 days of your complaint being filed.If he does, you will receive a written notice of his decision. A notice is also sent to whoever has the authority to take disciplinary action against each person who participated in the alleged reprisal.
- At the start of an investigation, the investigator must inform the chief executive concerned about the substance of the complaint, and may choose to notify any other person he or she considers appropriate, including those being investigated.
- Investigations are conducted as informally and expeditiously as possible. Once it is completed, the investigator will prepare a report for the Commissioner.
- At any time, the Commissioner may suggest a voluntary conciliation between both parties. This means that you and the person who reprised against you could come to a resolution together. We can help you with this process.
- If, after an investigation, the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that reprisals occurred, he must refer the case to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal. The Tribunal is composed of judges of the Federal Court or a superior court of a province.
- The Tribunal will decide if reprisal actions took place and has the power to order the appropriate remedy for you. The Tribunal can also order disciplinary sanctions for those who reprised against you, if request by the Commissioner.
Procedural fairness and natural justice
In investigating reprisal complaints, our Office respects the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice to protect the rights, interests and legitimate expectations of individuals. This means ensuring that investigations and the decision-making processes are both fair and reasonable.
Consult the Investigations sections for more information.