Workplace Complaints FAQ

Fostering a welcoming, respectful and inclusive workplace.

Employee support offices such as Workplace Investigations are committed to advancing a respectful workplace for all members of our community, one that is free of incivility, harassment, and discrimination.

View the WPI Process

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • If you have a concern or complaint relating to workplace incivility, harassment, or discrimination, you may raise it with the University by contacting any of the 13 Divisional HR Offices, any of the University’s equity offices, or Workplace Investigations. Employees are encouraged to approach the office or professional they are most comfortable speaking with, even if they are not a part of the employee’s local Divisional HR Office. Faculty members may also raise concerns and complaints with their Office of the Dean. If you have a concern or complaint relating to sexual violence or sexual harassment, you may raise it with the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre.
  • When you contact WPI, you will receive confidential support that will allow you to openly speak about your concerns or complaints. We will work with you to ensure you are connected to the appropriate resources and support.
  • You can contact us through phone or email. It is helpful if you share your name, email and/or phone information for us to initiate and maintain contact with you. If you wish to file a formal complaint, we will provide you with a complaint intake form that you can fill out and send back to us via email. The complaint intake form will indicate what information you need to provide to file your complaint. We can also provide assistance with filling out the intake form, should you request it.
  • If we receive your call or e-mail during our operating hours, we will strive to respond back the same day. We generally respond to all requests within two business days.
  • Once you submit your formal complaint intake form to our office, we will review and assess your complaint. Based on our assessment, we will determine the appropriate next steps, which include but are not limited to informal resolution, investigation or other resolution/restorative options.
  • There may be other options available to address a complaint without conducting a formal investigation. Our office may explore informal resolution of complaints where appropriate in the circumstances.
  • Our office may review with other appropriate University offices on a need-to-know basis to determine how to proceed with your complaint. This will be a case-by-case determination. With respect to the protection of information from disclosure, efforts are made to provide appropriate protection of the confidentiality of information obtained during the investigation process. Any University staff who need to receive information about your complaint are bound by all applicable University policies, guidelines, and legal requirements, including the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In specific circumstances, confidentiality cannot be maintained where information needs to be disclosed to address a risk to the health and safety of members of the University community or where the University is obliged by law to disclose the information.
  • It is recommended that you share your name, email and/or phone information in order for us to provide appropriate assistance. The University may not be able to take appropriate next steps with an anonymous complaint, as it may hinder our ability to assess the situation and take required actions to address the concern. While the University makes efforts to provide appropriate protection of confidentiality during the investigation process, anonymity is not possible, since in almost all cases the respondent will need to know who is making the allegations, and others will need to know certain basic information in order to process the complaint. Please know that there is no reprisals for raising a concern or complaint in good faith.
  • Any University community member who, in good faith, brings forward a complaint is protected from retaliation or reprisals. Reprisals may be the subject of a complaint. If any person retaliates against you for raising a concern or a complaint, you should contact WPI or any equity office or any Divisional HR Office right away.
  • You may raise a concern on behalf of another community member, or raise a concern if you believe you have witnessed another community member being subject to incivility, discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Based on the information you shared, the University will determine the appropriate next steps to address the issue.
  • Investigation timelines will vary on a case-by-case basis. We strive to conduct the investigation in a timely manner. There are number of factors that may impact the time it may take to complete an investigation, including but not limited to: the number and complexity of complaints; the number of parties involved including any witnesses; the evidence provided, etc.
  • The University may retain an internal investigator or an external third party investigator to conduct an investigation. The investigators are trained to conduct a thorough and fair investigation.

Policies and Guidelines

All University of Toronto faculty, librarians, and staff work under a common set of workplace conduct policies and guidelines, as set out below. These workplace policies and guidelines are available online: